Common Treatments Used To Fight Leukemia

Leukemia Marlton, NJ

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. There are various types of leukemia, some affecting mostly children and others primarily adults. In any case, leukemia typically involves white blood cells - the cells that fight off infections. In people with leukemia, the bone marrow produces excessive abnormal white blood cells, which do not function properly.

Most patients looking into leukemia treatment understand what leukemia is and how it affects their bodies. Read on to learn more about the most common treatments used to fight leukemia.

When to see a doctor or oncologist

Leukemia often presents symptoms such as fever or chills, persistent fatigue, weakness, frequent or severe infections, easy bleeding or bruising, recurrent nosebleeds, and tiny red spots in one’s skin (petechiae), among others. Therefore, it is crucial that patients visit a physician as soon as they notice irregular symptoms, especially those that do not go away.

Symptoms of leukemia are often vague and non-specific. As a result, many patients overlook early leukemia symptoms, which often resemble flu symptoms and other common illnesses. Sometimes leukemia is discovered during blood tests for another condition. Patients may also request blood tests and other screenings for irregular symptoms.

Diagnosing leukemia

Physicians may find chronic leukemia (more-mature blood cells that replicate over time) in a routine blood test before symptoms begin. If this happens, or a patient exhibits signs or symptoms that suggest leukemia, they may undergo certain diagnostic exams.

  • Physical exam: The doctor will look for physical signs of leukemia, such as pale skin from anemia, swelling of the lymph nodes, and enlargement of the liver and spleen.
  • Blood tests: By looking at a blood sample, a doctor can determine if a patient has abnormal levels of red or white blood cells or platelets, which may suggest leukemia. A blood test may also show the presence of leukemia cells, though not all types of leukemia cause the leukemia cells to circulate in the blood. Sometimes the leukemia cells stay in the bone marrow.
  • Bone marrow test: A doctor may recommend a procedure to remove a sample of bone marrow from the patient’s hipbone. Bone marrow is removed using a long, thin needle, and a sample is sent to a laboratory to look for leukemia cells. Specialized tests of the leukemia cells may reveal certain characteristics used to determine the patient’s treatment options.

Common treatments used to fight leukemia

Treatment for leukemia typically depends on certain factors, such as age, overall health, the type of leukemia, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body, including the central nervous system. However, patients will typically undergo one or more of these common treatments:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a common treatment used to treat most types of cancers. The treatment consists of chemicals that destroy fast-growing cells in the body. Chemotherapy is the major form of treatment for leukemia. Depending on the patient’s leukemia type, they may receive a single drug or a combination of drugs. These drugs may come in a pill form or be injected directly into a vein.

Targeted therapy

Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities found within cancer cells. Targeted drug treatments can kill these cancer cells by blocking these abnormalities. Leukemia cells are tested prior to therapy to determine if targeted therapy may help.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other high-energy beams to destroy leukemia cells, halt their production, and stop their spread. During radiation therapy, patients lie on a table while a large machine moves around them, directing the radiation to precise points on their bodies. Radiation therapy is also used to prepare for a bone marrow transplant.

Bone marrow transplant

A bone marrow transplant, also called a stem cell transplant, helps reestablish healthy stem cells. The transplant involves replacing unhealthy bone marrow with leukemia-free stem cells that regenerate healthy bone marrow. However, before a bone marrow transplant, patients receive extremely high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy their leukemia-producing bone marrow. Then, they receive an infusion of blood-forming stem cells that help rebuild their bone marrow.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. The body’s disease-fighting immune system may not attack cancer cells because they produce proteins that help them hide from the immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process.

Schedule a consultation today

If you are experiencing abnormal, recurring, or persistent symptoms, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. As with any type of cancer, leukemia is most treatable when caught in its early stages. Call our office today to learn more or schedule a consultation wherein we can order tests and get you started on treatment.

To learn more about our services, visit https://floridacosmeticcenter.com or call our Celebration office at {{PHONE}} to schedule an appointment.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Leukemia in Celebration, FL.

Recent Posts

Visiting An Oncologist For Personalized Cancer Treatment

When most people think of cancer treatment, they think of chemotherapy. However, this is only one of many treatment options available. An oncologist can provide personalized cancer treatment that aims to remove and kill the cancer, as well as to prevent it from coming out of remission.Cancer treatment is not one size fits all. An…

How Does A Hematologist Treat Anemia?

Anemia occurs in people who lack enough healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin to carry oxygen to each organ. It has many forms and causes, all of which can be short-term or long-term. Fortunately, a hematologist offers multiple treatment options to address all concerns.When one's red blood cells do not work properly, anemia usually follows…

Finding The Right Treatment With A Blood Disorder Specialist

Blood disorder specialist treat and diagnose blood disorders, from anemia to leukemia. Regardless of whether a patient has a cancerous or noncancerous blood disorder, consulting one of these specialists can lead to better health outcomes. A specialist will work to find an effective treatment that prevents the disorder from progressing, as well as work to…

An Oncologist Discusses The Importance Of Regular Cancer Screenings

Oncologist are known as cancer doctors or specialists who diagnose and treat various types of cancer, meaning people should not wait until there is a suspicion of the disease before scheduling an appointment. In fact, with cancer, timing is of the essence. Patients with any concerns can learn how regular visits to an oncologist can…

Recent Posts

Visiting An Oncologist For Personalized Cancer Treatment

Visiting An Oncologist For Personalized Cancer Treatment

When most people think of cancer treatment, they think of chemotherapy. However, this is only one of many treatment options available. An oncologist can provide personalized cancer treatment that aims to remove and kill the cancer, as well as to prevent it from coming out of remission.Cancer treatment is not one size fits all. An…

How Does A Hematologist Treat Anemia?

How Does A Hematologist Treat Anemia?

Anemia occurs in people who lack enough healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin to carry oxygen to each organ. It has many forms and causes, all of which can be short-term or long-term. Fortunately, a hematologist offers multiple treatment options to address all concerns.When one's red blood cells do not work properly, anemia usually follows…