Leukemia Treatment at World Class Cancer Hospitals in India

leukemia treatmentLeukemia is cancer that starts in the tissue that forms blood. In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don’t die when they should. They may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work.

Doctors may find chronic leukemia in a routine blood test, before symptoms begin. If this happens, or if you have signs or symptoms that suggest leukemia, you may undergo the following diagnostic exams:

  • Physical Exam: Your doctor will look for physical signs of leukemia, such as pale skin from anemia, swelling of your lymph nodes, and enlargement of your liver and spleen.
  • Blood Tests: By looking at a sample of your blood, your doctor can determine if you have abnormal levels of red or white blood cells or platelets — which may suggest leukemia.
  • Bone Marrow Test: Your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a sample of bone marrow from your hipbone. The bone marrow is removed using a long, thin needle. The sample is sent to a laboratory to look for leukemia cells. Specialized tests of your leukemia cells may reveal certain characteristics that are used to determine your treatment options.

Treatment

Treatment for your leukemia depends on many factors. Your doctor determines your leukemia treatment options based on your age and overall health, the type of leukemia you have, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body, including the central nervous system.

The term leukemia actually describes a group of cancers involving an excess of white blood cells. In leukemia normal control mechanism starts to produce large number of abnormal white blood cells disrupting production of normal blood cells and affecting vital functions that these blood cells carry out.

Leukemia can be classified as either lymphoid or myeloid, denoting the type of white blood cells affected. It is also categorized as either acute or chronic reflecting the speed of progression.

Acute Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic (lymphoid) Leukemia (ALL) accounts for more than 80% of cases of and one of the few forms of cancer that is more common in children than adults.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) accounts adults for most of the remaining cases

Chronic Leukemia

Chronic leukemia which progress slowly are very rare in childhood
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) accounts for less than 3% of childhood leukemia
Chronic Lymphoblastic Leukemia is unheard of in children

Leukemia is More Common in Men than Women. The main causes are : –

  • Radiation exposure : – Exposure to very high levels of radiation increases acute leukemia risk.
  • Exposure to benzene : – Exposure to the chemical benzene at work over a long period of time increases your risk of developing acute leukemia.
  • Smoking : – Smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Genetic reasons : – Certain inherited conditions can increase the risk of developing acute leukemia. Children with Down’s syndrome are more likely to get acute myeloid leukemia than other children.
  • Family history : – Having a first or second-degree relative diagnosed with a blood cancer or lymphoma.
  • Past chemotherapy : – People who have had treatment with particular chemotherapy drugs in the past.
  • Blood disorders : – Bone marrow disorders called myelodysplastic syndrome, Fanconi’s anaemia & diseases where bone marrow makes too many blood cells (myeloproliferative disorders).
  • Viruses : – Virus called HTLV-1 (human T cell leukemia virus) causes a rare form of adult T cell leukemia.
  • Electromagnetic fields : – Power lines produce ‘low frequency electromagnetic radiation’ (EMR), as do electric wiring and electrical equipment.

Treatment of Leukemia at World Class Hospitals in India

Leukemia treatment plans often are personalized and customised for each individual patient. In general, there are five major approaches to the treatment of leukemia :

Chemotherapy – to kill leukemia cells using strong anti-cancer drugs.

Interferon Therapy to slow the reproduction of leukemia cells and promote the immune system’s anti-leukemia activity.

Radiation Therapy to kill cancer cells by exposure to high-energy radiation.

Stem Cell Transplantation (SCT) to enable treatment with high doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy surgery to remove an enlarged spleen or to install a venous access device (large plastic tube) to give medications and withdraw blood samples.


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