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Right type of therapy for leukemia patients

Leukemia or better known as blood cancer is one type of cancer. Leukemia is caused by an increase in the number of white blood cells in the blood or bone marrow.

So most of the blood cells produced through the bone marrow have abnormalities of nature and type compared to normal blood cells. This abnormality of blood reproductive cells also triggers more leukocyte production than normal limits, so leukemia is usually characterized by increased levels of leukocytes in the blood.

Leukemia can be differentiated into acute and chronic leukemia. Acute means to grow rapidly, while chronicles grow slowly. The types of leukemia known are Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML).

Causes of Blood Cancer (Leukemia)

Like most types of cancer, the exact cause of blood cancer is unknown. One that is certain is how this condition develops: the body produces different blood cells from the bone marrow, the soft part of the bone. These blood cells are produced by stem cells. The red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen to other cells, while the white blood cells act as soldiers guarding the body's defense lining and are part of the immune system.

However, the cells must die in a process called apoptosis. Blood cancer cells do not go through this stage, so the number of white blood cells in the blood increasingly accumulate. In the long run, they can cause a lot of serious illnesses including a deficiency of red blood cells or anemia.

Leukemia

Know the type of leukemia therapy

Once diagnosed with blood cancer, a person may have various therapeutic possibilities. To choose the most appropriate therapy, there are several factors that need to be considered.

Things to consider include leukemia (ALL, AML, CLL, CML, or CMML), age of leukemia, chromosomal or genetic abnormalities, and general health. In addition to these various factors of consideration, it is also important to recognize the various therapies that can be used to treat the following leukemia:

Chemotherapy

Use special drugs that can be injected or drunk to kill cancer cells. The chemo drug will flow through the blood vessels to reach cancer cells throughout the body. This type of treatment is often considered for the treatment of cancer cells that have spread throughout the body.

On the other hand, this treatment can cause various side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, to increase the risk of infection (due to decreased white blood cell count).

These side effects can make chemotherapy less recommended for those with poor general health. In addition, chemotherapy also has the potential to damage various organs directly, including the kidneys, liver, testicles, ovaries, brain, heart, and lungs. The administration of chemotherapy will always be closely monitored to reduce the side effects as soon as possible.

Stem cell transplant

Stem cells, in this case blood stem cells, are immature (immature) blood cells that are potentially mature and form all types of blood cells (white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets / platelets). Often stem cells are found in blood and bone marrow.

In leukemia therapy, high-dose chemotherapy works more effectively killing cancer cells than with standard doses. On the other hand, the use of high-dose chemotherapy not only kills cancer cells, but can also kill stem cells. This condition causes the bone marrow to stop producing blood cells that are vital to life.

The use of stem cell transplantation allows the replacement of stem cells damaged by high-dose chemotherapy. Thus, this therapy can be run without sacrificing blood cell production.

The source of blood stem cells is usually obtained from blood, bone marrow, or cord blood. In addition, patients can also receive stem cell donors from other people (allogenic) or self (autologous).

Radiation therapy

This therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is used to prevent spread or deal with leukemia that has spread to the brain, spinal fluid, or testes. Radiation therapy is also commonly used before stem cell transplantation and can reduce bone pain in leukemia, especially if chemotherapy is not helpful.

Targeted therapy

This therapy is a special chemo drug that utilizes the difference between cancer cells and normal cells. This leukemia therapy allows treatment to target cancer cells only, and does not kill normal cells in the body.

Watchful waiting

Observe the development of cancer without providing treatment. This approach is often recommended in the case of CLL that generally grows slowly, so there is no need for immediate treatment.

Supportive therapy

Leukemia therapy is intended to treat complications of blood cancer and the side effects of its treatment.

Various types of leukemia therapy above is usually done based on the results of doctor's diagnosis. In the selection of therapy, it is important to discuss first with the team of doctors who handle you.



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