GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leukaemia patient. A child being treated with chemotherapy for leukaemia relaxes by playing cards with his mother in hospital. His mother is wearing a mask to help protect him from infection. Leukaemia is a form of cancer and results from uncontrolled proliferation of the white blood cells in the bone marrow. Anticancer drugs are used to stop these cells from multiplying. Unfortunately the drugs used in cancer chemotherapy act on all rapidly dividing cells, not just cancer cells. Thus, they affect the bone marrow, the immune system, the intestinal lining, the hair follicles, the ovaries and the testes, sometimes causing severe side-effects.
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