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.