The first person to notice the symptoms of this disease was the French Physicians Alfred Velpeau in 1827. He autopsied the body of a man who had died while experiencing symptoms of fever, weakness, pain, pus-filled blood and headaches. A normal spleen weighs approximately 500 grams; this man’s spleen weighed 4.5 kilograms. Other reported cases followed twelve years later. In 1845 German pathologist Rudolph Virchow created the term weisses blut (white blood) to describe the instability between leucocytes and red blood cells. He also named the disease that caused fever, headaches, swollen organs and swollen glands as Leukemia (Net Industries, 2009).
The term Leukemia comes from the Greek words leukos meaning white and aima meaning blood. It is an abnormal proliferation of leucocytes in the blood or bone marrow. Leukemia is a broad term covering several diseases. It accounts for 30% of all cancers found in children less than 15 years of age. It can be divided into two types, Acute and Chronic.