Signs, Symptoms and Treatment for Leukemia

Signs, Symptoms and Treatment for Leukemia

Understanding Your Leukemia Diagnosis

Countless billions have spent on cancer research in order to understand how this disease develops and what can be done to treat it. Leukemia is a form of cancer that begins in a patient’s blood and must be treated as quickly as possible in order to slow its spread and limit the side effects. Patients that have a high risk of developing leukemia should understand some of the most common detection methods and how to improve their prognosis if they are diagnosed with this disease.

What Is It?

Cancer is a term that is used to describe a number of different diseases that produce abnormal cells in the human body. Leukemia is one type of cancer that begins by changing cells in the patient’s blood. What makes leukemia dangerous is the fact that it damages an individual’s white blood cells and affects their ability to fight off infections. Around 50,000 cases of leukemia occur within the United States each year.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Leukemia is often difficult to detect because the side effects are similar to many other conditions. Most patients will begin to notice some minor abnormalities with their health such as unexplained weight loss and chronic fatigue. Many will also experience frequent and severe illnesses that resemble the flu with side effects such as a fever, cold sweats, enlarged lymph nodes, insomnia, and skin infections. During the later stages of this disease, deep throbbing around bones and joints is a common occurrence.

What to Do After a Diagnosis

Any patient that experiences these side effects should immediately speak with their doctor about being tested. This test involves taking a sample from the patient’s blood as well as their bone marrow. If these tests do confirm that it is leukemia, then the doctor will suggest immediate action. This typically begins with lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a clean diet, and exercising when possible.

What happens next depends on the patient’s age, their overall health, how far along the cancer is, and the type of leukemia that they have. Some of the most common treatments include chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and targeted removal of the cancer cells. The primary goal of each of these treatments is to put the cancer in remission and increase the amount of white blood cells in the patient’s blood.


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