Archive for the ‘Leukemia Treatment’ Category
Leukemia is a disease of the blood that is caused by too many immature or abnormal blood cells. The problem starts with the DNA of cells which results in the shortage of normal blood cells. This causes the body to stop working properly.
White blood cells have many sub types. Some of these are from lymphoid cells and the rest from myeloid cells. The DNA of cells that are produced from myeloid or lymphoid become damaged and causes the production of abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells push the normal blood cells out. Myelogenous Leukemia is the cancer from myeloid origin and Lymphotic Leukemia from lymphoid. These are the two types of leukemia. It can be categorized further into chronic and acute.
Acute leukemia means that the cancer can rapidly become fatal . If acute lymphatic leukemia is not treated immediately, there is no chance of recovery. This type of cancer is mostly seen in children. With acute myelogenous and chronic cancer there is not the urgency for treatment. Chronic leukemia sufferers are kept under observation and only when the bodies tissues are damaged by the leukemia are they treated. Generally the chronic leukemia is seen in the elderly.
The types of leukemia are grouped based on the speed the disease develops and worsens.
• Chronic leukemia: At the start of the disease the cells infected with leukemia can still do some of the work of the normal blood cells. People may not know that they are suffering from the disease. When the symptoms become apparent they are at first mild but get gradually worse.
• Acute leukemia: The cells cannot do any of the work that the normal white blood cells do. With this form of leukemia the infected cells rapidly increase and the leukemia quickly worsens .
Leukemia can also be grouped depending on what type of white blood cell is affected.
• Chronic lymphatic leukemia: This type of cancer affects the lymphoid cells and normally is slow growing. This type almost always affects the over 55’s.
• Chronic myeloid leukemia: This is also a slow growing leukemia and affects mainly adults.
• Acute lymphatic leukemia: Is a fast growing leukemia that affects lymphoid cells. This type of leukemia is the most common among children.
• Acute myeloid leukemia: The myeloid cells are affected and are quick growing. This type affects both children and adults.
An Leukemia AML prognosis is a medical opinion in which possible outcome of the disease is found out. If the cancer responds well to the treatment then its prognosis may prove to be favorable but it the cancer is difficult to control then its prognosis is unfavorable .
Those people who have AML are very keen to know what the future holds regarding their life. The patient should understand that what actually AML is and what he should expect because then only he is able to plan a good treatment and can think of adopting a lifestyle that is suitable to his health.
An AML prognosis can be affected by certain factors which include:
• Type and location of the cancer.
• Stage of the disease.
• Grade of the cancer.
• Number of white blood cells present in the body.
• Response of the cancer to its treatment.
• Whether the AML was caused due to previous anti-cancer treatment.
All the factors that could affect the patient’s treatment and disease are considered carefully by the doctors when they are discussing the person’s prognosis and then they try to predict the possible chances. AML Prognosis is based upon information of thousands of patients of cancer collected by several researchers. The statistics of a group is considered when it comes to an individual patient who has similar condition to those who are in the group. But one thing should be kept in mind that prognosis is just a prediction and what will actually happen to the patient in future is also unknown by the doctor.
Most of the patients of AML are unknown of what they are actually suffering from that’s why AML prognosis is recommended because it is easy to cope up if the patient knows the statistics.
According to the “Leukemia & lymphoma society facts 2010-2011”, an estimate of 43,050 people were likely to develop leukemia in 2010.It is therefore essential to know leukemia treatment in order to save thousands of people who die every year due to it.
The purpose for treating leukemia is to destroy leukemia cells and to allow your bone marrow to make new white blood cells ( leukocytes).There are different treatments for leukemia which depend on the following factors:
- Type of leukemia (acute/chronic)
- Stage of its development
- Patients health
- Its spread to the other parts of the body
People with acute leukemia should to be treated immediately while those with chronic need to wait until the symptoms start to appear. For people with acute leukemia, chemotherapy is usually used to treat them. There are three stages in chemotherapy:
- In induction phase, the goal is to destroy leukemia cells in the blood until there are no more signs and symptoms of leukemia. This is often called remission .
- In the second stage that is consolidation, any leukemia cells that are left out in the test results are destroyed .
- The third stage of maintenance prevents any remaining leukemia cells from re-growing.
Another leukemia treatment is Radiation therapy which uses radiations like X-rays or Gamma rays to kill leukemia cells and to stop them from re-growing. On the other hand, Targeted therapy uses drugs which attack the elements like proteins which form the leukemia cells.
In order to replace defected bone marrow with a healthy one, stem cell transplant is done which is yet another treatment. Stem cell transplant occurs after chemotherapy has destroyed the defected cells and then blood forming stem cells from a donor are administered to rebuild healthy bone marrow. In some cases, the whole bone marrow is transplanted to replace the destroyed bone marrow.
Biological therapy is also used for leukemia treatment in which case; patient’s own immune system is used to fight leukemia cells. The substances which help defense mechanism restore its normal working are made in the laboratory.
Furthermore, after recovery from leukemia, it is essential for the patient to visit his/her doctor for regular checkups, tests and X-rays so that he/she does not contract leukemia again. There are also a few side effects associated with leukemia treatment like the destruction of healthy cells along with the defected ones.Nevertheless, every product is made with a few by-products and so is the treatment for diseases.