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Symptoms leukemia, causes, and treatment

Blood cancer or leukemia is a condition in which the body produces more white blood cells than normal, thus disrupting the body's function in fighting infection. Understanding leukemia is a disease that develops from the overproduction of immature white blood cells.

Under normal conditions, white blood cells will develop regularly when the body needs it to eradicate the emerging infections. Yet another case with people with blood cancer. Bone marrow will produce abnormal white blood cells, can not function properly, and excessively. Excessive amounts will result in accumulation in the bone marrow so that healthy blood cells will be reduced.

Leukemia disease becomes dangerous because the amount of white blood cells that are very much in the bloodstream and bone marrow can make other blood cells disrupted manufacturing process. As a result, white blood cells and other blood cells are unable to function as they should. To note, people with leukemia are prone to bruising, bleeding, and infection. Leukemia is a serious disease. So anyone should be wary of this disease.

Because the buildup of white blood cells takes place in the bloodstream, these abnormal cells can also spread to other organs, such as liver, lymph, lung, kidney, even to the brain and spine.


Leukemia in Children

For information, treatments for children with leukemia are not the same as those for adults. After leukemia has been treated, children need special monitoring for treatment side effects that may appear within months to years later. Leukemia drugs for children are also adjusted to the severity of the disease.

Causes of Leukemia

Understanding leukemia you already know. The underlying cause of leukemia is not known for certain, but chromosomal abnormalities, exposure to pollution, radiation exposure, and smoking are some of the things that can be a risk factor. In addition, other changes in white blood cells due to genes and environmental factors are also thought to play a role in triggering leukemia.

So, the cause of leukemia is from external factors as well as internal factors of the body. Internal factors causing leukemia include exposure to radiation, pollution, or certain harmful chemicals. Get used to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce smoking so as not to increase the risk of leukemia.

Symptoms of Leukemia are Things to Look For

Leukemia does not provide typical symptoms of leukemia at an early stage. When it arises, one of the following symptoms of leukemia may appear:

  • Anemia and associated symptoms, such as fatigue, pale in the lips, pallor in the conjunctival eye can be a sign of leukemia symptoms.
  • The tendency to bruise or bleed easily, including bleeding from the gums and nose, or blood in the stool or urine can be one of the symptoms of leukemia.
  • In addition, the symptoms of leukemia one of them is also susceptibility to infections such as sore throat or bronchial pneumonia, which can be accompanied by headache, mild fever, sprue, or skin rash.
  • Swollen lymph nodes, usually in the throat, underarms, or groin.
  • Loss of appetite and weight is also one of the symptoms of leukemia.
  • Discomfort under the lower left rib (caused by the swollen spleen).
  • High white blood cell count can cause vision problems due to retinal hemorrhage, ringing ears (tinnitus), mental status changes, prolonged erections (priapismus), stroke, or seizures due to bleeding in the brain. If some of these leukemia symptoms appear, then anyone should be vigilant.

Handling Leukemia

There are things you can do at home to help manage the side effects. If the doctor has given instructions or medications to treat these symptoms, obey the medication. In general, the habit to consume healthy menus such as eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep and exercise can help control the symptoms.

While home treatment can be performed for symptoms such as nausea or vomiting and overcoming early signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth or dizziness when in a sitting position to stand up. Consumption of ginger candy or ginger tea is also able to help overcome the symptoms. If there are symptoms of diarrhea, consult your doctor for appropriate treatment.

Other issues that can be treated at home include:

  • Sleep problems.
  • Feeling very tired. If the patient is short of energy or becomes weak easily, try to manage energy and schedule an extra break.
  • Hair loss. Use a mild shampoo of chemicals and comb hair in a gentle way.
  • Home care can help you cope with pain.
  • Treatment of stress due to cancer: The thought of being heavy to face the challenge of the disease itself and the perceived pain need to get the support of the family and the people closest to it. Finding new ways to deal with stress symptoms can improve the overall quality of your life such as doing what the patient loves and advising patients to think positively.
  • Share stories and feelings. Finding support groups for fellow people with cancer can ease the mind.

How To Treat Leukemia?

The goal of leukemia treatment is to destroy leukemia cells and allow normal blood cells to be formed in the bone marrow. Leukemia treatment decision is based on the type of leukemia that is owned, disease stage, age and general health condition.

This type of leukemia itself is seen through microscopic examination of bone marrow, whether the type of leukemia lymphoblastic or mieloblastik. This examination can also determine whether the leukemia enter the category of acute or chronic.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

How to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has 3 steps consisting of induction, consolidation, and maintenance.

  • Induction therapy is the stage to kill leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow. Treatment stages include chemotherapy and corticosteroids. Induction usually lasts 4 weeks and is done in the hospital. But some patients have leukemia cells with certain gene changes. This gene is called the Philadelphia chromosome. Patients with the gene will be given tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
  • How to treat leukemia with consolidation therapy kills the leukemia cells that may still be left. If the cells are left, these cells can grow back and may recur. Treatments include chemotherapy and possibly bone marrow transplantation. Consolidation usually takes several months but does not require hospitalization.
  • Maintenance therapy is a way of preventing the remaining leukemia cells from growing. This can be done by using a lower dose of chemotherapy than that used during induction or consolidation. Chemotherapy is administered with intravenous (IV) drug and intravenous drug. Maintenance therapy is performed for 3 consecutive years, but so far, most leukemia patients experience relapse while in maintenance therapy.

Acute myeloblastic leukemia

Treatment of acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) is based on the genetic makeup of normal myeloid cells. The treatment plan usually has 2 steps that include remission induction and post-remission therapy.

  • Remission therapy is the treatment of leukemia to kill leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow. Chemotherapy is given by means of intravenous (IV) injection treatment. Induction usually lasts 4 weeks, followed by 3 weeks later for bone marrow recovery. Remission therapy usually requires hospitalization.
  • Post-remission therapy is done to kill leukemia cells that may exist even if they are undetectable. This therapy may include additional chemotherapy or bone marrow transplantation. Chemotherapy can be administered to patients in the hospital for several days each month and the process should be lived for 3 to 4 months.

There is a subtype of AML called acute promyelocytic leukemia, so patients get other medications, such as arsenic trioxide and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) drugs. Stem cell transplantation and chemotherapy are also used when leukemia does not respond to treatment or if AML recurs.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

The following are the treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including:

  • Radiation therapy. It can be used to treat swollen lymph nodes due to too many abnormal lymphocytes.
  • This is a combination of leukemia drugs, including monoclonal antibodies.
  • When CLL does not respond to treatment, or if recurrence after the patient has had symptoms subside for some time, how to treat leukemia like this is with more chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant.

CLL patients are unable to fight infection well. Patients and doctors need to be vigilant and check for any signs of infection, such as pneumonia (lung infection) or fungal infections. Early treatment will help patients survive longer. The leukemia drug is adjusted for the severity of leukemia found in the patient.

Chronic Myeloblastic Leukemia

Chronic myeloblastic leukemia (CML) needs to be treated promptly. The leukemia drug options for this most common type of disease include:

  • Target therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This is the first treatment used for CML.
  • Bone marrow transplant. Before transplantation can be done, chemotherapy or radiation is used to destroy bone marrow activity.
  • For people newly diagnosed in the early stages of CML (chronic phase), tyrosine kinase inhibitors can work for years. If the patient does not show relapse, the patient does not need to do bone marrow transplant. But if the patient relaps, the patient should do bone marrow transplant.

While for people diagnosed with CML at a later stage (accelerated or blast-crisis phase), treatment may involve chemotherapy or tyrosine kinase inhibitor prior to bone marrow transplantation-to increase the likelihood of successful bone marrow transplant surgery.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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