Leukemia Treatment: Know Treatment Options, Phases, & Recovery Aptly

icon-blog By -Dr. Kanika Sharma
icon-blog By -October 4, 2023
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In recent decades, there has been significant progress in the leukemia treatment, leading to a notable increase in the number of patients who not only survive but also thrive after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Leukemia commonly impacts white blood cells, although it may initiate in other blood cells as well. While the prevalence of the disease is higher in individuals aged 55 and above, it is noteworthy that leukemia is the most prevalent cancer among children below the age of 15. Various types of leukemia exist, each presenting distinct prognoses and treatment alternatives.

No alternative treatments currently exist that can effectively address, remedy, or control leukemia or any other form of cancer. Nonetheless, there are approaches that might offer relief for specific leukemia symptoms or aid in mitigating the adverse effects of treatment. For leukemia treatment, surgery is not treatment of choice because cancer cells are not concentrated in a single, removable tumor. Instead, they tend to disseminate widely throughout the body via the bloodstream, making surgical removal nearly impractical. Since leukemia is a systemic condition, the optimal leukemia treatment approaches typically involve chemotherapy or biological therapy.

Therefore, it's crucial to grasp the thorough and appropriate understanding of the complexities involved in leukemia treatment if you or your known one is in row to such a treatment in order make an informed decision towards it.

What Are The Available Leukemia Treatment Options?

Typical Leukemia treatment options are:

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy serves as the primary leukemia treatment method for treating leukemia. This treatment employs drugs to eliminate leukemia cells. Depending on the type of leukemia, you may receive a single drug or a combination of drugs. These medications can be administered orally in pill form or through intravenous injection.

Targeted Therapy: Targeted drug treatments are designed to target specific abnormalities found within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted therapies can induce the death of cancer cells. 

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy employs X-rays or other high-energy beams to damage leukemia cells and inhibit their growth. During this procedure, you lie on a table while a large machine moves around you, precisely directing the radiation to specific areas of your body. Radiation therapy may be employed to prepare for a bone marrow transplant.

Bone Marrow Transplant: Also known as a stem cell transplant, this procedure involves replacing unhealthy bone marrow with leukemia-free stem cells, which will regenerate healthy bone marrow. Prior to the transplant, you receive high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to eradicate the leukemia-producing bone marrow. The infused blood-forming stem cells aid in the rebuilding of your bone marrow. These stem cells can either be from a donor or your own.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy leverages your body's immune system to combat cancer. Cancer cells often produce proteins that enable them to evade detection by the immune system. Immunotherapy intervenes in this process, helping the immune system recognize and target cancer cells.

Engineering Immune Cells for Leukemia Combat: A specialized treatment known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy involves modifying your body's T cells, which are responsible for fighting infections, to target and combat leukemia. These engineered T cells are reintroduced into your body, offering a potential option for certain types of leukemia.

Clinical Trials: Clinical trials are experimental studies designed to assess new cancer treatments and novel approaches to using existing treatments. While participating in clinical trials provides access to the latest cancer treatments, the benefits and risks of such treatments may be uncertain. It's essential to discuss the potential advantages and drawbacks of clinical trials with your doctor.

However, the leukemia treatment plan depends on various factors. Your doctor will determine the appropriate course of treatment based on factors such as your age, overall health, the specific type of leukemia you have, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body, including the central nervous system.

Depending on your treatment strategy, you may undergo leukemia treatment continuously over the long term or in distinct phases. Typically, phased treatment consists of three components, each with a specific objective:

Induction Therapy: The primary aim of this leukemia treatment phase is to eliminate as many leukemia cells as possible in your blood and bone marrow to achieve a state of remission. Remission is characterized by a return of blood cell counts to normal levels, the absence of leukemia cells in your blood, and the complete disappearance of all signs and symptoms of the disease. Induction therapy is typically administered over a period of four to six weeks.

Consolidation or Intensification: In this phase, the primary objective is to eradicate any remaining, undetected leukemia cells to prevent the cancer from recurring. Consolidation therapy is usually delivered in cycles spanning four to six months.

Maintenance Therapy: The focus here is on eliminating any residual leukemia cells that may have survived the initial two treatment phases and preventing the disease from returning, known as relapse. Maintenance therapy is typically continued for approximately two years.

What to Expect During Recovery Process Of Leukemia Treatment?

Advancements in the leukemia treatment have led to an increase in the number of individuals living with their condition. Surviving cancer presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. Many people encounter periods when their illness is well-managed, affording them the chance to resume their normal lives.

Most individuals eagerly anticipate the conclusion of their treatment, as it marks a return to life as they knew it. However, this phase can bring about significant changes. Roles and responsibilities within the family may need to be redefined, and decisions may be required regarding when or how to rejoin the work.

The majority of people adapt successfully to life after leukemia treatment. It's important to recognize that this adjustment is a gradual process, and both you and those around you may need time to acclimate to the new circumstances. Having realistic expectations can help prevent feelings of disappointment, anger, or frustration.

People employ various coping strategies when readjusting to life after treatment, and there is no universally right or wrong approach. The concept of "normalcy" may require reevaluation, and some individuals may find it beneficial to seek support, either independently or through trusted friends or family members.

Connecting with others who have undergone similar experiences can be valuable, as they comprehend the complex issues that arise during the adjustment to a new life. Relationship or family counseling can also assist individuals in moving forward as they navigate this transformative phase of their lives after leukemia treatment.

Why to choose India for Leukemia Treatment

India stands out on the global stage for its exceptional proficiency among surgeons in conducting such procedures, owing to their remarkable skills and access to advanced healthcare facilities. Therefore, people from around the world currently have excellent opportunities to avail services from the best doctors for leukemia treatment and the best hospitals for leukemia treatment in India.

Moreover, the cost of leukemia treatment in India is quite affordable than many Western nations, while still maintaining world-class quality. The approximate price of this procedure in India ranges from 38,000 INR to 22 lakh INR with an average of about 10,94,000 INR, which is approximately one-tenth the treatment incurred in countries like the USA.

To Summarize

Make sure to find a proficient cancer treatment expert who can work closely with you to plan your remission and facilitate a speedy recovery. Rely on Medflick as your dependable source for precise, current, and trustworthy information regarding leukemia treatment. Your health and overall well-being deserve nothing less than well-informed and responsible guidance.

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