Leukaemia Awareness : The Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Posted On Jul 26, 2022

Dr. Sravan Kumar Bodepudi

Consultant - Medical Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Physician

Manipal Super Speciality Hospitals-Vijayawada

Blood Cancer Treatment in Vijayawada

What is leukaemia?

Leukaemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood cells and bone marrow. Blood is mainly composed of different cell types that are formed in the centre of our bones within the region of bone marrow. Leukemia is a condition which is observed with the development of abnormal blood cells instead of normal blood cells. These abnormal blood cells grow uncontrollably, later enter the bloodstream and travel across the body system. In some cases, these abnormal cells are collected within some of the body parts. When abnormal cells are developed in the bone marrow, it inhibits the growth of normal blood cells that the body requires. Hence, it results in causing various symptoms among the individuals.

Different types of leukemia have been observed among individuals as per their medical history and age group. Acute leukemia gets worse more quickly due to the rapid growth of abnormal cells. Chronic leukemia gets worse slowly over time and shows slow growth.

Symptoms of Leukaemia

In most cases, leukemia does not cause any particular signs or symptoms, especially during the early phase. But, sometimes it causes common signs and symptoms involving:

  • Tiredness or weakness

  • Easy bleeding as compared to normal bleeding

  • Falling more sick due to infections as compared to the normal condition

Sometimes the above-mentioned symptoms are also caused by conditions that are not leukemia. It is recommended to communicate with the doctor in case of the occurrence of any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Is there any diagnosis available for Leukaemia?

Healthcare providers use different diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of leukemia among individuals. These diagnostic tests include:

  • Blood tests

  • Bone marrow biopsy: This test proceeds by taking a small sample of the bone marrow. Later, the sample is examined under a microscope and special equipments (Flow cytometry) to observe the occurrence of any abnormal cells (cancer cells) in the sample.

The healthcare provider will also advise them to undergo diagnostic tests and inquire about their symptoms. Visit Manipal Hospitals for Leukaemia Treatment in Vijayawada.

Treatment for Leukaemia

Different leukaemia treatment approaches are available, and doctors immediately integrate these treatment approaches for treating leukaemia patients. In conditions where leukemia has slow growth and does not cause any symptoms, doctors usually monitor such cases very closely till appropriate treatment is provided to the patient. The appropriate treatment for the patient depends upon the type of leukemia the patient is suffering from, their age, and their medical history of having any other health issues. The leukemia treatment mainly involves:

  • Chemotherapy

It is a medical treatment that uses medicines (drugs) to kill cancer cells and inhibit their growth.

  • Immunotherapy or Targeted therapy

It is another type of medical treatment that uses the drugs to kill the cancer cells by identifying the proteins on the cancer cells.

  • Bone marrow transplant (Stem cell transplant)

This treatment is integrated by replacing the cells within the bone marrow that are usually killed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The donor cells come from different places, including the patient’s own bone marrow or some other person’s bone marrow.

Leukaemia treatment in children

The appropriate treatment of the children depends upon the different types of leukemia:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

This type of leukemia requires chemotherapy treatments that are usually given to leukemia patients through intravenous access or recommended orally through medication. Most of the children are in remission after their treatment ends, which means there is no growth of abnormal cells in the blood stream and bone marrow. It takes about 2-3 years for many children to finish the complete treatment.

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

The treatments for this type of leukemia also require chemotherapy and, in some cases, bone marrow transplantation. People who are related to the affected child and whose blood group matches the child are capable of donating their cells for bone marrow transplantation. Also, in some cases, when an individual is not related to the child, but their bone marrow matches, they can also donate their bone marrow. 

What happens after the treatment?

After the treatment procedure is completed, regular monitoring will be done to check for the recurrence of the leukemia in the patient. Regular follow-ups will be carried out by communicating with the doctor at regular intervals and undergoing different diagnostic tests such as blood tests and other related examinations. In some cases, the doctors may recommend undergoing a bone marrow biopsy to check the reoccurrence of any cancer cells in the sample. Consult with our Medical Oncologist in Vijayawada to know more about the treatment procedures.

What is done if leukaemia comes back?

If a recurrence of leukaemia is observed in the patient, the patient is recommended to undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplantation.

Dr. Sravan Kumar Bodepudi

Associate Consultant - Medical Oncologist

Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada

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