An oncologist is a medical professional who deals with cancer. Seeing an oncologist for a consultation can help inform you about what to expect during your treatment. Cancer therapy is important in keeping the tumor and cancer symptoms at bay. Understanding it can help you prepare well for it.If you want to know more about…
Treatments Options for Leukemia
Have you recently been diagnosed with leukemia? Read on to learn more about available treatment options. A leukemia treatment depends on various factors. The doctor will determine the treatment options based on your general health, age, and the type of leukemia you have.
Leukemia treatment options
There are different types of leukemia and, as a result, different treatments. The following are some treatment options for leukemia:
Targeted drug therapy
The doctor will use this type of treatment to concentrate on the abnormalities inside the cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy can block these abnormalities. These can lead to the death of cancer cells. Testing the leukemia cells will allow the oncologist to see whether the therapy is working.
Risk-adapted therapies and targeted therapies can decrease side effects and give higher response rates. Medications can come singularly or as a combination for treating blood marrow cancers. Stem cell replacement, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can treat leukemia. The doctor will inform the patient which therapy is suitable for the patient’s situation.
Drug therapy aims to kill cancer cells to restore normal cells and remove signs of illness. Cancer cells can develop too quickly, but they can also fail to deteriorate quickly. Drug therapy can increase the death rate of cancer cells.
This is the main treatment type for leukemia. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to destroy leukemia cells. The doctor may opt for a single-drug treatment or a mixture of drugs. Chemo drugs may be administered through the vein or orally.
Biological products or biologics use living organisms to treat leukemia. Vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are forms of biological products. The structure of biologics is complex. These are drugs composed of living cells.
These living cells are sensitive to their specific environments. Biosimilars are imitation products of biologics. These are similar to the FDA-approved reference products. Biosimilars may become available soon as treatment options for blood cancer.
Watch and wait
This approach involves keeping an eye on the patient’s condition without providing any treatments. Some patients can manage their blood cancer well. This is ideal for patients with chronic blood cancer and early-stage or slow-growing blood cancer. The doctor will use lab tests and physical exams to keep an eye on the patient’s condition. Below are the things that the doctor will look for:
- If anemia is worsening
- If lymph nodes are getting bigger
- If the spleen is getting larger
- If new lymph nodes are affected
- If the number of lymphocytes in the blood is increasing rapidly
- If the vital organs or bones are already affected
- If the blood cell count has decreased
Bone marrow transplant
This is also called a stem cell transplant. It aids in re-establishing healthy stem cells. The transplant takes the place of afflicted bone marrow with normal stem cells. These healthy cells will then produce good bone marrow.
The patient will typically get high doses of radiation therapy or chemotherapy first. This will destroy the cancerous bone marrow. The patient will then receive a stem cell infusion. These blood-forming stem cells can help rebuild the patient’s bone marrow. The stem cells can come from the patient’s own body or from a healthy donor.
This leukemia treatment uses high-energy beams like X-rays to stop the growth or kill leukemia cells. The patient will lie on the table while a large machine moves around the patient’s body. The machine will direct the radiation to specific points on the body. There will be a concentration of radiation in the areas where leukemia cells are forming. The radiation may go on the patient’s entire body. Radiation therapy may also be used to prepare for a marrow transplant.
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy
The patient’s immune system may not attack the cancer cells. This happens if the cancer cells produce proteins that can help hide them from the cells of the immune system. Immunotherapy stops this from happening. The CAR-T cell therapy uses the body’s own pathogen-fighting T-cells. This type of leukemia therapy engineers the T-cells to fight leukemia cells.
Clinical cancer treatment trials
These are experiments that test new treatments for cancer. The trials also find new methods of using the current treatments. There are risks and benefits to these trials so a thorough discussion with your oncologist is a good idea before deciding to participate in a clinical trial.
The bottom line
Your treatment plan will depend on your needs as a leukemia patient. A good support system can help you go through your therapies. Working with your treatment team can make your journey to remission a smooth one.
Get more information about Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center in Marlton at https://lindenbergcancer.com.
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