Leukemia treatment — tips for choosing
Leukemia. Other names – leukemia, anemia, leukemia. It's malignancy of early immature hematopoietic cells of the brain. Usually the tumor arises from leukocytes – white blood cells the bone marrow. But suffering, and other types of cells. Tumor invasion of the bone marrow enters the bloodstream affects the lymph nodes, the fluid spreads throughout the body. Therefore, the treatment of leukemia need to start as early as possible.
Types of leukemia
Cancer cells of the spinal cord is the formation of abnormal immature elements. They accumulate in the blood and perform their functions. That is, the new blood cells damaged cells of the spinal cord do not form.
The blood of any person consists of three types of cells:
- leukocytes, or white blood cells (important part of immune system);
- erythrocytes, or red blood cells (responsible for oxygen delivery to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide);
- platelets (resulting in the smoothness of the blood vessel walls, forming blood clots at injury).
All of these elements arise from stem cells of the bone marrow. This process is called hematopoesis and has features:
- stem cells proliferate and transform into blasts, "almost" Mature blood cells;
- the blasts go through several stages of maturation in the bone marrow, transformed into adult blood cells.
Thus, the specialization of stem cells takes place in several stages. The first of which is their separation into two large groups:
- myeloid blood cells (give rise to the formation of:
- red blood cells,
- monocytes and granulocytes, the white blood cells of a certain type).
- lymphoid blood cells (which later formed the remaining white blood cells – lymphocytes).
In leukemia in each of these groups can begin the pathological process:
- disturbed maturation of myelocytes – myeloid leukemia, or myelogenous, limfaticheskie, myelomonoblastic leukemia;
- disturbed maturation of lymphoid blood cells – lymphoid, lymphoblastic or lymphogenous leukemia.
Each type of leukemia has two forms:
- sudden onset of the pathological process;
- the rapid reproduction of cells, their maturation and rapid death (in the myeloid type of leukemia);
- the accumulation of newly formed immature cells (in lymphoid leukemia);
- white blood cells are unable to perform their functions;
- the death of the patient without adequate treatment of the acute form occurs within a few weeks – months.
- imperceptible beginning, a slow current of pathological process;
- inadequate maturation of blood cells, the accumulation of abnormal cells in organs and tissues;
- the body becomes susceptible to infections;
- external and internal wounds slowly heal;
- lymphocytic form can take years;
- military type of leukemia is able to transform into an acute form.
Forms of leukemia, depending on the number of white blood cells:
- leukemic (1 ml of blood, more than 50 thousand);
- subleukemic leukemia (1 ál from 10 to 50 thousand);
- aleukemic (normal white blood count);
- lakopenicescoe (1 µl less than 5 thousand).
If treated leukemia? Indicate the results of the research
The leukaemia nonspecific symptoms, but the exact causes are unclear. Therefore, the physician should clarify the diagnosis, interviewing patient, and making a survey. A comprehensive diagnosis involves the study of symptoms, the elucidation of their origin. The following procedures are possible:
1) a blood test.
Patient's white blood cell count usually greatly increased, and platelets and erythrocytes are smaller than normal.
2) bone marrow Biopsy.
Most often, the samples are solid andthe liquid contents are taken from the pelvic bone. The diagnosis is confirmed by the presence of leukemic cells.
3) Genetic tests.
Studied the chromosomes of atypical cells in order to identify the violation of the structure. The result gives you the opportunity to designate the type of leukemia.
4) lumbar puncture.
Helps to determine if the pathological process in the washing of the brain and spinal cord fluid.
5) Biopsy of the lymph nodes.
This procedure is rarely used. Only when researching the bone marrow impossible.
6) x-ray examination.
Performed to detect changed lymph nodes or signs of infection.
To choose an adequate course of treatment, the doctor may need to determine the type of leukemia. In accordance with the result highlighted and the main risk factors. Only after the examination the doctor will answer is there a cure for leukemia in this patient.
This deals with the hematologist and the hematologist-oncologist. Treatment of leukemia in children – a pediatrician-hematologist, and the hematologist-oncologist. Specialists of this profile directs the attending General practitioner.
General recommendations to the patient at the initial stage of treatment:
- if you have any doubts and inaccuracies, get several opinions, you can refer to other specialists;
- for a consultation it is advisable to take along a relative or friend to every detail of the conversation was to be awarded attention; a little patient for the presence of an adult required;
- for the treatment of select large medical centers, which actively use modern programs;
- from the first days follow the diet in leukemia, the doctor recommended;
- be sure to discuss with your oncologist the possibility of additional applications of herbal medicine (self-treatment with herbs is unacceptable).
During treatment solves two problems:
- Getting rid of the cancer.
- Reduce the appearance of symptoms and side effects from medications.
Chemotherapy for leukemia
This is the main method of treatment of this type of cancer. Use different chemotherapy drugs aimed at the destruction of leukemic cells. The funds are administered intravenously or orally.
If there is a risk of migration of tumor cells in the cerebrospinal fluid, the drugs enter through a lumbar puncture. This is called intrathecal chemotherapy. Its popularity is due to the following: enter intravenous drugs penetrate into the cerebrospinal fluid poorly, causing uncontrolled growth of malignant cells continues.
Chemotherapy drugs kill not only diseased cells but also healthy. The result is a lot of side effects. Most affected are the hair, skin, nails, digestive system. In some cases, increased susceptibility to infections, there is anemia, often bleeding. Therefore, chemotherapy is combined with:
- antibiotic therapy;
- the imposition of remedies, activating the production of new blood cells;
- transfusion of platelets and Packed red blood cells.
Chemotherapy consists of six cycles, depending on the type of disease and risk factors. A few days of intensive treatment, then the three-week vacation. In some cases after each period you take a sample of bone marrow. After all of the course is a comprehensive examination.
- induction (the goal is to destroy the maximum number of abnormal cells to speed up remission);
- consolidation (the goal is to find and destroy residual leukemic cells);
- support (the goal is to maintain a low level of leukemic cells; this is a long phase, with small doses of drugs aimed at ensuring stable remission).
Only whencertain types of leukemia require all three phases.
The main objective of chemotherapy is the cure of the patient. That is, the absence of disease and recurrence. The determining factor is time. Only it will show whether to continue life without leukemia.
Sometimes there comes a relapse. Require re-treatment. The result of second-line treatment is rarely recovery. The most effective method of re – treatment is transplantation of stem cells.
Biological method of treatment of leukemia
Based on the use of biological drugs, operating similarly to native body substances. This drugs such as:
- monoclonal antibodies (tumor fighting cells produced by chronic lymphocytic leukemia or acute myeloid);
- interferon (used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia);
- interleukins (hormone-like proteins that stimulate the growth and differentiation of cells).
Much less frequently for the treatment of leukemia, radiation therapy is used.
The prognosis for leukemia
Different types of leukemia in different degrees treatable. So, chronic forms are treated, but for many years successfully controlled. The outcome of each type of disease depends on specific factors. Call common prognostic factors:
- the degree of damage of the blood and bone marrow;
- the degree of involvement in the pathological process of other tissues and organs;
- chromosomal abnormalities of tumor cells;
- proper nutrition in leukemia.
So, the probability of recovery of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at low risk – 95%, a standard risk – up to 85%, high risk – up to 65%. Treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia during the standard therapy of 40-50%, with stem cell transplant is 55-60%.