Bahasa Melayu English (UK)

The problem of cancer in Malaysia is a growing one. It is now the fourth leading cause of death among medically certified deaths. Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells. It is a malignant disease of the blood and the core of the bone.

When a person has leukemia, the bone marrow starts to make a lot of abnormal white blood cells, called leukemia cells. The cells don't do the work of normal white blood cells, they grow faster than normal cells, and they don't stop growing when they should. It is categorized as the uncontrolled accumulation of blood cells. Leukaemia will cause a patient to be extremely defenceless to life-threatening infections, due to the lack of white blood cells or uncontrolled and serious bleeding as due the short of platelets.

The majority of leukaemia patients are found at a late stage of the disease which at most of the times causes death. Statistics from National Cancer Council (MAKNA) adds that there are approximately 3567 new cases of childhood leukaemia each year. It is also estimated that the annual incidence of cancer is 30 000.

Cancer types

Rate per million



Tumors of the brain and spinal cord






Gonadal and germ cell tumor




Soft tissue sarcomas




Being aware of this phenomenon, a group of researchers from UniMAP and USM has taken initiative to look further into the frequency of occurrence for acute leukaemia by focusing on the citizens in Kelantan.

R. Adollah, M. Y Mashor, Rosline. H, N.H Harun, E. U Francis and Adilah. H gathered data from Hemathology Department, Hospital University Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian to analyze on the frequency of occurrence of ALL and AML pattern among the people of Kelantan by age group.

Leukaemia is divided into four categories, which are: Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia (AML), Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML).

Acute leukaemia means the condition progresses rapidly and aggressively and requires immediate treatment while chronic leukaemia tends to progress slowly over the course of many years, therefore, in most cases does not required immediate treatment.

From the study, it can be seen that 55% of the samples have been diagnosed with ALL while another 45% has been diagnosed with AML where it shows general pattern for frequency occurrence in acute leukaemia. From the data, it shows that ALL is most commonly at age below 10 years old to 19 years old as for the age above 20, AML become more common. It can be said that AML is more common type of acute leukaemia among adults and ALL is commonly occurred in younger age. From the study, it can also be deducted that adults age 60 and older are more likely to develop leukaemia than younger people.