Blood Cancer: Leukemia Treatment
Leukemia us a serious disorder if the blood forming tissue, the cause which is still not known. It maybe due to some virus. At least this has been demonstrated in mice, but not yet in a man. Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood-forming organs. It may follow excessive exposure to X-rays and certain chemicals, particularly those related to the benzene group.
There are a number of different varieties of leukemia. Unfortunately, none of these are common compared with other diseases. Patients with leukemia produce an excessive amount of white blood cells. They may be either granulocytes, lymphocytes, or monocytes.
Leukemia is usually more common in males. The patient tends to complain of weakness, fatigue, lack of appetite, and weight loss. He has some anemia or loss of red blood cells due to the bone marrow being overcrowded with white blood cells. The spleen is usually large and tender. There maybe pain in the bones and hemorrhages in the skin in various parts of the body. The white blood count may rise from the normal 7,000 to 25,000 to 50,000. In some cases it may rise to over 200,000. The outcome depends largely type on the types of leukemia. Many patients are living longer today, thanks to modern methods of treatment, but still the outlook is not too bright.
Anything that will lower the white blood count will usually help. X-ray treatments over the spleen, bones, lymph nodes, and other tissues is often effective. Radioactive phosporus (P32) may also be tried. Certain drugs may help to depress the overactive bone marrow, but these must be prescribed on an individual basis. Prednisone may help to control the bleeding in the later stages. In chronic lymphocytic Leukemia the disease often continues for years. It is rather benign, and treatment may cause all evidence of the disease to disappear for long periods of time. Blood transfusion are sometimes needed when the blood count drop too low. In more acute cases death ,ay occur within a few months after the onset of the disease.