Thursday, August 11, 2011

Know Leukemia (Blood Cancer)

Know Leukemia (Blood Cancer)
What is Leukemia?
Leukemia is a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow and lymphatic tissues. All cancers begin in cells that make blood and other tissues. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells the body needs. When cells grow old, the cells will die and new cells take their place.

Know Leukemia (Blood Cancer), But, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong, New cells form when the body does not need it, and old cells do not die like they should. This discrepancy is called leukemia, in which the bone marrow produces white blood cells are abnormal cells eventually urged other.

What Causes It?
Doctors can not always explain why one person develops leukemia, while others avoid the disease. However, we know that people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop leukemia.

The study found that people who are exposed to very high radiation and industrial chemicals (such as benzene and formaldehyde) are at greater risk of leukemia.

In addition, patients treated with drugs anti-cancer (such as alkylating substances) are sometimes exposed to leukemia a few years. And patients exposed to the virus human T-cell leukemia (HTLV-I/Human T-cell leukemia virus-I) are also susceptible to this disease. Other risk factors include people with certain genetic (eg Down syndrome) or certain blood disorders (such as myelodysplastic syndrome).

Like all blood cells, leukemia cells flowing through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, patients with leukemia have a number of common symptoms include:

Fever or night sweats
Frequent infections
Feeling weak or tired
Easy bleeding and bruising (bleeding gums, purplish patches on the skin, or tiny red spots under the skin)
Pain in the bones or joints
Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from an enlarged spleen)
Swelling, especially in the neck or armpit
Weight loss

If you have a symptom or screening result that leads to leukemia, the doctor must find out whether it originates from cancer or from other health conditions. You will be asked to undergo blood tests and diagnostic procedures:

Physical examination - the doctor will check for swelling in the lymph nodes, spleen, spleen and liver.

Blood tests - laboratory will examine the number of blood cells. Leukemia causes the number of white blood cells increased very high, and platelet count and hemoglobin in red blood cells decreases. Laboratory tests will also examine whether there is blood for signs of abnormalities in the liver and / or kidneys.

Biopsy - the doctor will remove bone marrow from the hipbone or another large bone. Pathologist will then examine the samples under a microscope to look for cancer cells. This is called a biopsy, which is the best way to find out whether there are leukemia cells in bone marrow.

Cytogenetics - laboratory will examine the chromosomes of cells from samples of peripheral blood, bone marrow, or lymph nodes.

Processus spinosus - using a long thin needle, the doctor will slowly take the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that fills the spaces in the brain and spinal cord). This procedure lasts about 30 minutes and is performed with local anesthesia. The patient must lie flat for several hours afterward to keep from getting a headache. The lab checks the fluid if there are leukemia cells or other signs of disease.

X-ray of the chest - X-rays can reveal signs of disease in the chest.

What treatment is offered?
Most patients with leukemia undergoing chemotherapy. This type of cancer treatment uses drugs to kill leukemia cells. Depending on the type of leukemia, patients can get a single drug or combination of two or more drugs.

People with leukemia may receive chemotherapy in a variety of ways:

By injection directly into veins (or intravenous)
Through a catheter (small flexible tube) is placed inside a large vein, often in the upper chest - The nurse will inject the drug into the catheter, to avoid multiple injections. This will reduce discomfort and / or injury to the vein / skin.
By injection directly into the cerebrospinal fluid - if the pathologist finds leukemia cells in the fluid that fills the spaces in the brain and spinal cord, the doctor may order intrathecal chemotherapy. The doctor injects drugs directly into the cerebrospinal fluid. This method is used because drugs given by IV injection or by mouth often do not reach cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Biological Therapy

People with certain types of leukemia have biological therapy to boost the body's natural resistance against cancer. The therapy is administered by injection in a vein.

For patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a type of biological therapy used is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the leukemia cells. This therapy enables the immune system to kill leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow. For patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, biological therapy used is a natural substance called interferon to slow the growth of leukemia cells.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill leukemia cells. For most patients, a large machine directs radiation at the spleen, brain, or other parts of the body where leukemia cells stacked it. Some patients receive radiation that is directed to the whole body. (Total-body irradiation usually is given before a bone marrow transplant.)

Transplantation of Stem Cells (Stem Cell)
Some leukemia patients undergoing stem cell transplantation (stem cell). Stem cell transplantation allows patients treated with high doses of drugs, radiation, or both. The high doses destroy both leukemia cells of normal blood cells in the bone marrow. Then, the patient receives stem cells (stem cells) are healthy through a flexible tube placed in a large vein in the neck or chest area. Cells to grow new blood from stem cells (stem cell) transplantation outcome of this.

After stem cell transplantation (stem cell), patients usually stay in the hospital for several weeks. Health care team protects patients from infection until the stem cells (stem cell) transplant outcomes begin producing white blood cells in adequate amounts.

What kind of support is available?
CanHOPE is a supporter of the initiative ParkwayHealth team along with multi-disciplinary team of doctors that seek holistic approach to cancer care at no extra cost. The advisory running cancer counseling service through a hotline and email to provide emotional support and psycho-social to all patients and caregivers to assist them to cope effectively with cancer. Intersection face counseling services can also be arranged.

Patients, health professionals & general public can also get the latest cancer information, its related screening tests, treatment and referral to appropriate cancer services, resources for further rehabilitation and support services, advice about side effects of cancer treatment, coping strategies of cancer, the pattern eating and nutrition.


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