Treatment of leukemia: present and future

Leukemia is a subtype of Cancer which affects the blood-producing cells. As a rule, it usually affects white blood cells more than other blood cells.

A) Yes, they begin to reproduce in an uncontrolled way and these cancer cells can spread the cancer to other body regions. This process is called metastasis.

Currently the exact causes are unknown that unleash the presence of this pathology. However, we can point to a series of risk factors that increase the risk of developing it.

For example, exposure to radiation, the consumption of toxic substances, genetic inheritance or certain alterations. We include the Down’s Syndrome and the Fanconi syndrome , among other.

Also, we can differentiate a series of subtypes within leukemia:

  • According to the clinical history of the patient:
    • De novo. The subject has not presented any underlying disorder to this disease.
    • High schools. In this case, the subject has suffered a problem that has triggered the presence of this alteration.
  • According to the speed of its development:
    • Sharp The evolution of the disease is very fast.
    • Chronicles. On the other hand, the disorder can develop slowly or progressively.
  • According to the blood cells that affect initially:
    • Lymphoblastic or lymphatic Thus, this kind of cancer affects the lymphocytes, a subtype of leukocytes (cell synthesized in the bone marrow).
    • Myeloblastic or myelocytic. It affects the precursor cells of platelets and red blood cells.

Treatments of leukemia

Treatment of leukemia: present and future

As a general rule, the purpose of this set of medical guidelines is neutralize cancer cells. All possible symptoms will also be calmed to facilitate the patient’s quality of life.

In each case, the corresponding medical team will choose the most appropriate treatment for each subject. Currently, these are the most commonly used procedures:

Chemotherapy

In it, the person is given a series of medications indicated to destroy altered cells once they reach the bloodstream. Likewise, they can be administered both orally and intravenously.

General side effects (short term):

  • Loss of hair.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Formation of ulcers in the oral cavity.
  • Loss of appetite Therefore, the patient usually loses weight in a limited period of time (unintentionally).
  • Intestinal problems (especially diarrhea).
  • Tiredness and weakness in the extremities.
  • Increased risk of developing infections and bruises.

Radiotherapy

Treatment of leukemia: present and future

In it, they apply controlled amounts of radiation over certain affected areas for cancer. However, it is a pattern that is not carried out so frequently for this disease. For example, to reduce the size of tumors that may have formed or before bone marrow transplant .

Side effects (short term):

  • Hair loss in the treated part.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Dermatological alterations in the area where the treatment is applied.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Tiredness or generalized weakness
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Difficulty breathing normally.

Stem cell transplant

Treatment of leukemia: present and future

Used along with other treatments (especially the chemotherapy ). This is because the side effects of other patterns are too aggressive to increase the patient’s dose. Thus, more cancer cells are destroyed, surpassing the chances of survival. The transplant can be both blood and bone marrow.

Side effects (short term):

  • Loss of hair.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • Sores inside the oral cavity.
  • I increase considerably of getting an infection.
  • Rejection of the transplant (allograft).

Targeted therapy

Treatment of leukemia: present and future

As well uses a set of specialized drugs, but they are different from those of chemotherapy. These chemical compounds are capable of attacking a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. Also, only the cells that cause this disease have a genetic modification, the Philadelphia chromosome , which allows them to synthesize said protein.

Side effects (short term):

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Tiredness or general weakness (especially in the muscles).
  • Skin rash. As a general rule, they may present a variable discomfort.
  • Inflammation around the eyes. It can also occur in the feet and hands.

With all this, it is concluded that The treatment of leukemia is customized for each patient. In addition, the survival of the disease has increased.

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