How to treat blood cancer or leukemia
The usual treatment for leukemia is medical treatment that begins with chemotherapy and can lead to a bone marrow transplant if the chemotherapy does not work. In this OneHowTo article we'll tell you how to treat blood cancer or leukemia, explaining the more traditional treatments as well as some alternative methods that are now becoming popular.
It is important to know what leukemia is to understand the disease and be able to treat it. Alteration of cells occurs during the maturation of a large cell into a white blood cell. At this time an error occurs that causes a chromosomal abnormality making the cells become cancerous and multiply uncontrollably.
Due to the large number of cancer cells that result from this process, eventually they collect in the bone marrow, replacing normal blood cells. The infected ones are spread through the blood, which means they can reach other vital organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys or brain.
Leukemia treatment is focused on completely destroying cancer cells and allowing normal cells to be restored to the bone marrow. The first step to treating this cancer involves chemotherapy, a drug treatment that always depends on the patient's condition (age, sex, etc.) and the type of blood cancer that they have developed.
Chemotherapy involves taking different combinations of medications that work to fight cancer. There are different types of chemotherapy which can be administered to the patient intravenously or orally. However, this treatment has many side effects affecting the health of the patient:
- Intestinal problems (vomiting, changes in appetite, etc.)
- Hair falling out
- General fatigue
- Severely weakened immune system
Normally in chemotherapy treatment, the leukemia patient will receive blood transfusions. This is done to correct the occurrence of diseases like anaemia and prevent haemorrhages, so these side-treatments are normal during chemotherapy.
If the chemotherapy treatment appears unsatisfactory, that is, it has not been able to kill the cancer cells in the body, they will proceed to bone marrow transplantation. This treatment is difficult but it is the best alternative to possibly cure leukemia.
For this, a donor compatible with the patient is needed. These are often found in members of the same family who have consented to undergo the donation. If there is no compatible family member they will have to seek a donor who is compatible with the patient. Although this process is slow and complicated, the results can be positive.
There is another way to treat leukemia, and that is when the patient becomes what is known as a "autologous". This is only possible when a patient is in remission from cancer, then they can use the bones of the patient to retrieve stem cells. Again it comes down to removing any traces that could be cancerous cells and proceed to transplant the patient's own marrow but regenerated.
The causes of leukemia remain unknown. No one knows why this "mistake" that occurs in the maturation of cells is caused, therefore no one knows how to prevent it. However, leading a healthy lifestyle guarantees that your body is healthy and is better protected against cancer.
Eating a healthy diet, exercising, quitting smoking and drinking and sun protection are some of the most recommended practices. In this article we tell you about the best anti-cancer foods.
Leukemia is a cancer that can be detected by experiencing a number of symptoms in your body and your health status revealing that something is happening inside you. Of the symptoms of leukemia, the most common include:
- Low platelets caused by this cancer that cause the patient to be more tired and fatigued.
- Hunger disappears and is apparent in a sudden weight loss.
- Appearance of anaemia.
- Appearance of skin hematomas for no apparent reason.
- Bleeding in areas such as the nose or rectum.
- Pain in bones and vital organs such as the stomach.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to treat blood cancer or leukemia, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.