Acute leukemia or leukaemia is a cancer disease that affects the bone marrow. Through the mutation of stem cells are not Mature, and the bone marrow is filled with immature cells – blasts. In the course of disease progression of tumor cells beyond the bone marrow and end up in other organs and tissues that suffer from liver, spleen, lymph nodes, skin, lungs, mucous membranes, brain, and so on. Acute leukemia often affects children, however adults the disease can not be circumvented.
Causes and symptoms of acute leukemia
The exact causes of leukemia are still unclear, but doctors and scientists point to the adverse factors that can provoke. These include:
- Genetic predisposition. Some types of leukemia almost always develop immediately both twins common is the situation of the development of leukemia in several members of the family.
- Effect on the body of certain chemicals. Sometimes leukemia develops after a course of chemotherapy to treat another cancer.
- The presence of concomitant hematological diseases like aplastic anemia, del.
- The impact on humans of radiation exposure, especially in high doses.
- The abnormal body’s response to viral infection.
which should get worried the following:
- Weight loss, the cause of which is difficult to explain.
- A permanent increase in body temperature (sometimes significant, sometimes not).
- Persistent viral infection.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Loss of appetite.
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes: they increased, but touching them doesn’t hurt.
- Some shortness of breath.
- Muscle weakness.
- Pain and tenderness in bones and joints.
- Night sweats.
- Frequent bleeding and the appearance of a subcutaneous hematoma.
- The appearance on the skin and mucous membranes rashes purple.
- Enlargement of the spleen and liver.
Treatment of acute leukemia
Than before to identify the disease, the higher the chances of a person to life. Therefore, when the first warning signs, you should seek the advice of a family doctor who needs to write a referral to a physician is a hematologist or oncologist.
There are 2 methods of struggle with acute leukemia: a multi-component chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. When choosing a method of treatment considers the patient’s age, his genetic characteristics, presence of chronic diseases, the number of leukocytes in the blood, response to previous treatment and so on. Each case is individual. Treatment both conservative and operative, very high and long. On average, chemotherapy with acute leukemia lasts 2 years.
Chemotherapy is very toxic, therefore, has such side effects as hair loss, nausea, vomiting, heart failure, kidney and liver. Patients must be protected from infections, to provide them an almost sterile way of life, because their immune system is almost killed as a disease and a cure.
Another method of treatment for leukemia bone marrow transplantation. Only there are stem cells that mutate and cause leukemia. Therefore, the patient’s bone marrow is removed and transplanted healthy. It is best to carry out the operation in the period of first remission. Contraindications for transplant is a violation of the functions of internal organs, acute infectious disease, recurrence of leukemia, age of the patient. Such operations are very costly and a compatible donor is difficult to find, but their efficiency is high.
The prognosis of acute leukemia
Can a person be fully cured of leukemia? Today it’s real, though very difficult and expensive. A crucial role is played by the patient’s age, the type and subtype of leukemia, the body’s response to treatment. Children are much more amenable to treatment than adults. Five-year survival in children with proper and timely treatment is 65-85%, in adults – 20-40%. Relapses after five years of remission occur very rarely, so we can say that acute leukemia can be cured, the most important time to pay attention to warning signs and seek medical help.
Despite the extremely high prices for the treatment of oncological diseases in Ukraine has a number of state programs that provide patients at least some of the necessary drugs. So never give up, we must fight to the end.