Leukemia treatment aims to destroy the leukemia cells and allow the formation of normal cells in the bone marrow. The treatment is dependent on a number of factors. Scroll down for an insight in this topic.
Cancer is a disease in which there is an uncontrolled growth and development of abnormal cells. The cells tend to grow and reproduce in a disorganized manner.The cells therefore so not develop properly, and the hence do not function normally either. The cells also fail to die as per the normal cycle. Leukemia is a type of cancer of blood forming cells in the bone marrow. The deranged and immature cells collect in the blood and within the organs.
Since they are abnormal, they are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells. Leukemia can affect people of any age group. However, research has shown that leukemia is one of the most common cancers affecting children. One of the early symptoms of leukemia is recurrent fever. Leukemia treatment is decided depending upon the age of the patient, overall health, the type of leukemia and the spread of the disease. The treatment options for leukemia are given below.
There are various treatment measures for treating this condition. Some might be treated with one method, whereas some may have to be treated with a combination of methods. Medication, time and length of the treatment vary depending on the prognosis of the patient.
In this treatment, chemicals are used to kill the cancerous cells. Depending on the type of leukemia, the patient may be given a single drug or a combination of drugs. This is the most preferred method in treating acute leukemia.
In certain types of leukemia, radiation therapy is administered to the patient along with chemotherapy. In this therapy, high energy rays are used to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. Radiation therapy is administered in two ways. In one kind, radiation can be directed to a particular part of the body, which has a collection of leukemia cells. In other kinds, radiation is given to the entire body.
In some cases, biological therapy is used to treat patients afflicted with leukemia. In this therapy, certain factors like growth, interleukins, monoclonal antibodies etc, are taken into consideration. Depending on the condition of the patient, they are given biological therapy along with chemotherapy and some are only administered the biological therapy.
Drugs are used to attack specific vulnerabilities within the cancer cells in targeted therapy. This helps in controlling the disease.
Stem Cell Transplant
Stem cell transplant is more often used in leukemia treatment for children. In this method, diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow. Normally the patient is administered high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy the diseased bone marrow. Then an infusion of blood-forming stem cells are given to the patient to rebuild the bone marrow. Sometimes the stem cells are taken from the patient’s stem cells or in some cases, from donors.
Alternative cancer treatments can also be sought for leukemia. Each of the methods has its own side effects. Some of the side effects include, infection, fatigue, bleeding, bowel irritation, nausea and vomiting, sore mouth, hair loss, weight loss, etc. Normally the appropriate measures are recommended for rehabilitation after the treatment.
With the modern day methods, the leukemia survival rate is much higher. The oncologist will be able to determine the exact status of the condition after the biopsy and blood tests are studied. In some cases, the chances of a complete recovery also exist in people suffering from leukemia, if the condition is detected well in time and measures are taken for the same.