Leukemia Ivan Soper was my middle school Ag teacher. My sophomore year in high school he was diagnosed with Leukemia. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, last updated on September 2 nd , 2010, Leukemia is defined as a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. Now, you may be wondering why this is important to you. Well, if you stop and think about it, I’m sure everyone in this room knows someone, or is related to someone who has had cancer. For me, the worst thing that can happen is for someone I care about to get diagnosed with something that I don’t have a clue about. It’s very scary and something we never want to face. My goal today is to give you guys the knowledge you will need to face the reality that cancer may be a very real part of your future. First we will look at the types and causes of Leukemia. Next we will look at symptoms. Finally we’ll look at the treatment and prevention. First let’s look at the types and causes of Leukemia. According to WebMD, last updated November 26, 2008, Leukemia is grouped by how fast it gets worse, and what kind of white blood cell it affects. It can be acute or chronic. Acute Leukemia progresses very fast, whereas chronic Leukemia progresses slowly and my not show symptoms for years. Those are the two types of classifications for the progression of Leukemia, but there are two more classifications for the type of white blood cell it affects. There’s lymphatic, which attacks white blood cells called lymphocytes, or there’s mylogenous which
5 Treatment Options For Leukemia
With the advancement in technology, the treatment of cancer has been improving. Of all types of cancers, one of the most dangerous ones is leukemia. It has two types: acute and chronic. While the former is curable, the latter needs to be treated consistently, and never really goes away. Here are some ways in which it is treated.
The most common and initial way to treat cancer cells is via radiation. There are two different ways in which the radiation therapy is administered. It is either area specific or covers the whole body. This depends on whether the leukemia cells have accumulated in one place or are spread throughout. The total body irradiation is also done before bone marrow transplantation.
Chemotherapy is usually carried out if radiation fails to work. Sometimes it is also the first options and patients begin their treatment with this treatment method. In chemotherapy, very strong medicines are administered via IV that cover all parts of the body through the blood stream and fight cancer. However, the anticancer drug is unable to reach the main nervous system for which the medicine is administered to the cerebrospinal fluid.
Bone Marrow Transplantation
A bone marrow transplant involves completely eradicating all blood cells, those causing cancer and those normal, in the bone marrow. A donor’s stem cells are preserved after the bone marrows match. These are given to the patient so he can develop new blood cells with the help of the transplanted ones.
One of the most recent treatment options for leukemia includes immunotherapy that impels the natural immune system of a person to fight cancer cells. This type of therapy can be done in a number of different ways including monoclonal antibodies, cancer vaccines or nonspecific immunotherapies. All of these in some way aid the immune system and help it fight cancer.
Once the regular or mainstream therapy is done, the follow up therapy begins that ensures that the patient is cancer-free. In case there are any cancer cells left, this is supposed to kill them. Moreover, if a regrowth is witnessed, maintenance therapy is supposed to deal with that as well. The therapy basically involves a more dilute version of chemotherapy via tablets or IV. The follow up time is usually 3 years.
There are a number of new studies being carried out to find more advanced treatment options for cancer. Microarrays are playing a pivotal role in this regard.