What are the symptoms of leukemia and the common treatment options
Leukemia refers to the cancer of the blood, specifically cancer of the white blood cells. White Blood Cells are vital for our existence because they work like soldiers to protect our body against foreign bodies, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, when they are affected by cancer, they stop normal functions normally leaving the body open to infections and diseases.
Some common symptoms of leukemia include the following:
- Frequent infections
- Night sweats or excessive sweating typically seen during the nights
- Bone pain and tenderness
- Enlargement of the liver or spleen
- Unintended weight loss
- Fever accompanied by chills
- Petechiae or angry red spots found on the skin
- Swollen lymph nodes are seen in the neck region and armpits
All types of leukemia treatments (including leukemia cell treatments, chronic myeloid leukemia treatments and so on) are done by an oncologist along with haematologists. Every kind of leukemia is treated depending upon the stage and type of cancer being dealt with. Leukemia symptoms and their severity will also act as a guide to decide the course of action for a treatment plan. Some of the most common leukemia treatment options are:
- Chemotherapy: This is one of the more popular ways to treat leukemia symptoms. The therapy uses one or more combination of drugs to fight leukemia. The choice of drug will depend on the type of leukemia that is being dealt with.
- Radiation: The other treatment option is radiation therapy which uses high-energy radiation to kill the leukemia cells. The radiation can be directed to a specific spot or the entire body. This is again decided based on the progress of cancer.
- Bone-marrow transplant: Replacing the diseased bone-marrow with a healthy one, also called as a stem cell transplantation is another option that can be considered. This is more popularly called a bone-marrow transplant.
- Other treatments: There are several biological and immune therapies used in conjunction with targeted therapies using medication which can be considered as well.
Leukemia and leukemia symptoms can be cured if they are caught in the early stages, and therefore, the long-term outlook and the scenario is good if the diagnosed happens early.