CARE Hospitals Logo
×

Leukaemia

Leukaemia Treatment In Hyderabad | Blood Cancer Treatment | Care Hospitals

Leukaemia is a term used for the cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. This includes the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that can be found anywhere in the body. In the case of leukaemia, this rapid growth of abnormal cells occurs in the bone marrow. 

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue present in the centre cavity of the bones. The blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. These blood cells help in the healthy functioning of our body. The red blood cells carry oxygen and all the other essential minerals to the tissues and organs of the body, while the white blood cells help fight the infection. Platelets, on the other hand, help in keeping away the blood clots. 

Some forms of leukaemia are more commonly found among children, while there are some forms that are diagnosed among adults as well. Leukaemia usually involves the white blood cells, which perform the function of fighting infections or foreign bodies. In the case of leukaemia, the bone marrow produces excessive white blood cells that are abnormal and function improperly. 

How is Leukaemia formed?

The initial stage of every blood cell is the hematopoietic stem cells. These stem cells undergo multiple changes before taking the adult form.

 In the case of a healthy person, the adult form of these cells would be Myeloid cells, which develop in the red blood cells, Platelets and some areas of the white blood cells, and Lymphoid cells that take the shape of certain types of white blood cells. 

However, people diagnosed with leukaemia will have a condition where one of the blood cells will start multiplying rapidly. This aggressive growth of the abnormal cells or the leukaemia cells takes their place inside the bone marrow. This abrupt growth of the abnormal cells does not take part in the functioning of the body. Because they take up the space occupied by the normal cells, the latter is forced to be released into the bloodstream so as to pave the way for the cancer-causing cells. As a result of this, the body’s organs will not get the adequate oxygen required to sustain the functions of the organs, and the white blood cells will lose their ability to fight the infections. 

Different types of Leukaemia

  • Acute Leukaemia

This is very aggressive leukaemia, where the abnormal cells divide and spread at an alarming rate. This is the most common paediatric cancer.

  • Chronic Leukaemia

Chronic leukaemia can have both immature and mature cells. Chronic leukaemia is less aggressive as compared to acute leukaemia. This worsens over time, and the symptoms 

may not be apparent for many years. Adults are more prone to chronic leukaemia than children. 

Based on the Cell Type

  • Myelogenous / Myeloid Leukaemia

This type of leukaemia originates from the myeloid cell line. 

  • Lymphocytic Leukaemia

These form in the lymphoid cell line. 

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Bone pain
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Excessive sweating
  • Red spots visible on the skin
  • Easy bleeding or bruising

Risk Factors

  • Genetic disorders play a major role in the risk of leukaemia.
  • Heavy smoking can increase the risk of acute myelogenous leukaemia.
  • Heavy exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene, found in the gasoline and chemical industry, can add to the threat of contracting leukaemia. 
  • A family history of leukaemia can also add to the risk. 

However, it is also to be noted that in many cases none of these factors can come into play. Reasons for such cases remain unknown. 

Diagnosis

  • A physical exam is performed where the doctors look for any visible signs and symptoms of leukaemia. These signs can include paleness due to anaemia, swelling of the lymph nodes, and enlargement of the liver and spleen.
  • Another method of diagnosis is collecting samples of blood. A study of this blood sample will help the doctor detect an abnormal level of red or white blood cells or platelets. The blood test can also help in diagnosing the presence of any existing leukaemia cells. 
  • Another exam performed is the bone marrow test, which is collected from the hipbone. This is removed with the help of a long, thin needle, which is then sent to the laboratory for examination. 

However, not every leukaemia type circulates in the blood. Most of them originate in the bone marrow. 

Treatment

Depending on the age, overall health, type of leukaemia and whether it has spread to other parts of the body, the doctor will suggest the treatment that will have the most effective results. These treatments include;

  • Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for leukaemia. This treatment utilises drugs to kill the cancer cells. Depending on the type of leukaemia, the doctors can prescribe a single drug or a combination of drugs. 
  • Another method used is targeted drug therapy. The drugs are prescribed, focusing on specific abnormalities of the cancer cells. These drugs are targeted to kill the growth of these cancer cells. This treatment is prescribed only after testing if it will work on the kind of leukaemia the patient is diagnosed with. 
  • Radiation therapy is another treatment used to treat leukaemia. High energy x-rays or protons are used to damage the leukaemia cells and stop their growth. 
  • Another effective treatment used is the bone marrow transplant or the stem cell transplant. This is a process where the healthy stem cells are restored by removing the unhealthy bone marrow with leukaemia-free stem cells in order to propagate the growth of healthy bone marrow. 
  • Immunotherapy is also an effective option for the treatment of leukaemia. This is the process where the immune system of the patient is boosted in order to fight the cancer cells.
  • Clinical trials are also performed, where new cancer treatments are regularly tested to give effective results.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Still Have a Question?

If you cannot find answers to your queries, please fill out the enquiry form or call the number below. We will contact you shortly

+91-40-6810 6589