What Is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Marlton, NJ

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a type of bone marrow cancer. This serious type of cancer needs a thorough assessment and proper treatment. Understanding this condition may help you prepare for your treatment sessions. Continue reading to learn more about acute lymphocytic leukemia and how it is treated.

An overview of acute lymphocytic leukemia

The marrow is the delicate tissue in the bones. It manufactures the blood cells in the body. It is an acute condition because it progresses too quickly. This results in the production of immature white blood cells.

The symptoms

For parents, watching for the symptoms and signs of acute lymphocytic leukemia is important. An early diagnosis can help the child recover quickly. For adults, being aware of these signs and symptoms can help improve their quality of life. Below are the symptoms and signs to watch out for:

  • Generalized decrease in energy
  • Gum bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bone pain
  • Pale skin
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, neck, groin, or abdomen
  • Frequent infections
  • Severe or frequent nosebleeds

Seeing a doctor is important if there is suspicion of acute lymphocytic leukemia. The type of doctor that diagnoses and oversees treatment for this condition is known as an oncologist hematologist. Once signs and symptoms become persistent, it can be a huge cause for concern. Most of these symptoms are flu-like. Extended flu-like symptoms may indicate this type of leukemia.

The causes

Acute lymphocytic leukemia happens when there are mutations in the patient’s DNA. The genetic material inside the cell contains instructions for cell functions. In a normal, healthy body, DNA instructs cells to grow and die at a set rate and time. In a patient with this type of leukemia, mutations trigger continuous marrow cell division and growth.

The production of blood cells becomes uncontrollable when this happens. The marrow keeps producing immature white blood cells that become leukemic white blood cells. These are abnormal cells that do not function the right way. They can accumulate and overpower the healthy cells.

The risk factors

Most people have no idea that they are already at risk for acute lymphocytic leukemia. It is always good to know how great a person’s risk is for this condition. That way, one can prepare for the diagnosis or prevent it. Below are the known risk factors for this type of leukemia:

  • Genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, may increase one’s risk of developing this illness
  • A previous cancer patient, who has had radiation therapy and chemotherapy for another type of cancer, may be at increased risk of developing this type of leukemia
  • Exposure to high levels of radiation, especially from a nuclear reactor accident, can present an increased risk as well

The diagnosis

The doctor should assess the patient well to make sure that the patient’s condition is, indeed, acute lymphocytic leukemia. A bone marrow test will require a bone marrow biopsy and aspiration. Extracting bone marrow with a needle from the breastbone or hipbone will be next. The doctor will then send the samples to the lab for leukemia cell testing.

Blood tests may show too few or too many white blood cells. These tests may also show insufficient platelets or red blood cells. A blood test may also be helpful in testing for the presence of immature cells in the bone marrow. A spinal fluid test or spinal tap collects a spinal fluid sample, which surrounds the spinal cord and brain. Testing the sample will determine whether the leukemic cells have spread to the fluid. Imaging tests, such as CT scans or x-rays, can also determine if cancer has already reached the spinal cord and brain.

The treatments

Treating acute lymphocytic leukemia is divided into many phases. Doctors need to treat the sickness this way because cancer can behave in many ways. Talking to the doctor about which phases apply can help patients prepare for them. Induction therapy is the first treatment phase. Its goal is to kill most of the leukemic cells in the bone marrow and blood. It also aims to restore normal blood cell production.

Consolidation therapy or post-remission therapy can destroy the remaining leukemic cells in the body. Maintenance therapy prevents the leukemic cells from regrowing. Preventive treatment to the spinal cord provides additional treatment to kill the leukemic cells in the central nervous system. It involves injecting chemotherapy drugs into the fluid covering the spinal cord.

The bottom line

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of acute lymphocytic leukemia can help seek a diagnosis and treatment in the early stages when it is easier to treat. If you or your child are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

Get more information here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in Marlton, NJ.

Recent Posts

Reasons For A Visit To A Blood Cancer Specialist

A blood cancer specialist is a doctor with specific training in lymphatic system, blood, and bone marrow disorders. These doctors may work in clinics, hospitals, or blood banks. These healthcare professionals can help you with your current symptoms, and they can also offer tests to rule out this type of cancer. Here are the details…

When Patients Are Referred To A Cancer Center

A cancer center is a medical facility capable of providing the proper treatments to patients who need them. It has different healthcare providers who can help improve your general health and even soothe any discomfort. Understanding when you should go to this health facility can improve your health situation. Here are the details if you…

What Is Acute Myeloid Leukemia?

Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, is a type of bone marrow cancer. Knowing more about AML can help treat it early or even prevent it. Continue reading if you want to understand what acute myeloid leukemia is.This type of leukemia is also called acute myelogenous leukemia and acute myeloblastic leukemia. Other names are also acute…

Types Of Blood Cancer: Lymphoma And Myeloma

Blood cancer can affect many people of all ages and from all walks of life. Seeing a doctor can help determine whether you or a loved one has either lymphoma or myeloma. Understanding each type can help you go through the treatments and deal with the lifestyle changes. Here are the details if you want…

Recent Posts

Reasons For A Visit To A Blood Cancer Specialist

Reasons For A Visit To A Blood Cancer Specialist

A blood cancer specialist is a doctor with specific training in lymphatic system, blood, and bone marrow disorders. These doctors may work in clinics, hospitals, or blood banks. These healthcare professionals can help you with your current symptoms, and they can also offer tests to rule out this type of cancer. Here are the details…

When Patients Are Referred To A Cancer Center

When Patients Are Referred To A Cancer Center

A cancer center is a medical facility capable of providing the proper treatments to patients who need them. It has different healthcare providers who can help improve your general health and even soothe any discomfort. Understanding when you should go to this health facility can improve your health situation. Here are the details if you…

Welcoming Dr. David Nguyen, a new provider joined the practice, he is accepting new patients and immediate appointments are available!