What is Leukemia and how to treat it
Leukemia is a disease of blood and is a type of common blood cancer. It is characterized by abnormal production of blood cells and most commonly leukocytes or white blood cells. Diseases related to bone marrow, blood and lymphoid systems most commonly come under leukemia. Children as well as adults can get affected by leukemia. To treat leukemia, various factors must be considered including age, heath status, immune system, severity of the disease etc. of the patient. Leukemia can be treated by using many medical techniques.
Chemotherapy- Depending upon the severity of disease, this treatment lasts from two to five years. In this treatment, the patient is exposed to certain substances that help in killing cancerous cells and block their production.
Radiation therapy– This treatment is carried out along with X-rays and lasts for months. It is commonly combined with chemotherapy to get the most effective outcomes. Keeping in view the severity of disease, this therapy may be used to kill the leftover cancer cells. It is also used to clean out bone marrow of the patient by the use of strong radiations. It is mostly done before a stem transplant. Radiation therapy is also used in the form of an analgesic or painkilling therapy. It is used to reduce the size of an inflated spleen or lymph nodes. This in turn leads to relieving the patient from uneasiness.
Bone marrow transplant- It is the most popular treatment for leukemia in which the existing bone marrow is replaced with a healthy tissue. It ensures long life of a person and that too by facing less suffering and pain.
Immunotherapy– It is a new but active as well as effective technique used to treat leukemia. It aims at enhancing parts of the immune system which in turn increases resistance power of body. As a result, the risk and tendency of rumors is decreased to great extent.
Blood and Platelet transfusions- It is equally effective in treating the leukemia as well as some symptoms of leukemia including anemia. Apart from this, it also treats other diseases related to leukemia. It treats acute as well as chronic leukemia equally and effectively. In this process, blood transfusion takes place.
Antibiotics– The complications of leukemia can be blocked or prevented by taking some antibiotics. These antibiotics help in treating the infections caused due to excessive production of abnormal WBC’s.
Stem Cell transplant– When the cancer is not treated by or doesn’t respond to chemotherapy, then stem cell transplant is used. It is also used under such conditions in which cancer gets relapsed or return in a patient. Either stem cells of the patient or that of a matched donor is used for stem cell transplant.