Leukemia

Leukemia aka Blood Cancer has 4 different types: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) & Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). While there are general symptoms for Leukemia as a whole, each type has slight differences that can help identify it. Once diagnosed, doctors will determine the location, type and stage of Cancer and whether or not it is metastatic; based on which a treatment plan is devised. Get verified second opinions from OncoConnect’s curated list of international Oncologists.

About Leukemia

Leukemia is also called a Blood cancer. There are 4 different types of leukaemia’s:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML): AML starts from young blood cells called granulocytes or monocytes in the bone marrow. Factors that can increase chances of getting AML include family history, smoking, exposure to radiation, genetics where certain inherited conditions such as Falcon anaemia can increase the risk of developing active leukemia, exposure to benzene and past chemotherapy for Hodgkin Disease.

Symptoms: These include general weakness, fatigue, fever, frequent infections, bruising, bleeding easily, weight loss and swollen lymph nodes.

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL): ALL starts from young white blood cells called as lymphocytes in the bone marrow. Adults and children can get it, but it is most often diagnosed in younger people. Factors which ask increase chances of ALL include family history, smoking, exposure to radiation, genetics, past chemotherapy with certain drugs, exposure to benzene and high levels of ionising radiation.

Symptoms: These may include general weakness, fatigue, fever, frequent infections, bruising, bleeding easily, weight loss and swollen lymph nodes.

  • Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML): CML starts in the white blood cells called granulocytes. It often develops slowly and treatment can keep it under control for many years. CML risk factors include exposure to benzene and radiation.

Symptoms: These may include general weakness, fatigue, fever, frequent infections, bruising, bleeding easily, weight loss and swollen lymph nodes.

  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL): CLL affects the white blood cells called as lymphocytes. It tends to develop very slowly. CLL is the most common type of chronic leukemia. Its risk factors include family history, exposure to benzene, weakened immunity and radiation.

Symptoms: These may include anaemia, fatigue, frequent infections, bruising, bleeding easily, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes and abdominal discomfort.

Once leukaemia has been diagnosed, doctors will determine the type of cancer, based on which doctors would be able to devise a treatment plan.

To know more about leukemia you can refer to our Blood Cancer Guide

 

screening

No major professional organisations currently recommend any routine screening of the general public for leukemia.

our experts

Dr Boman Dhabhar

Consultant Medical & Haemato Oncologist

Dr Aristeidis Chaidos

Consultant Haematologist

COMPARE PRICING FOR - Leukemia

treatment

Treatments for blood cancer vary according to the type of cancer:

  • AML: Main treatment for AML includes chemotherapy along with radiotherapy, growth factors, bone marrow and stem cell transplant. You may need other treatments to support you while you have your main leukaemia treatment. This might be because you have an infection or to help with the side effects of treatment. These include anti-sickness medicines, painkillers, blood transfusions, platelet infusions, antibiotics, etc.
  • ALL:  Main treatment for ALL includes chemotherapy along with steroids, targeted cancer therapy, radiotherapy, growth factors, bone marrow and stem cell transplant. You may need other treatments to support you while you have your main leukaemia treatment.This might be because you have an infection or to help with the side effects of treatment. These include anti-sickness medicines, painkillers, blood transfusions, platelet infusions, antibiotics and medicines to protect the kidney.
  • CML: Main treatment for CML includes chemotherapy along with targeted cancer therapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplant.
  • CLL: Main treatment for CLL includes chemotherapy along with targeted cancer therapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplant.

Treatments are often used in combination with each other, particularly is the cancer is advanced and surgery is being performed. Chemotherapy may often be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that could not be removed during surgery.

You may experience vomiting, nausea, hair loss, fatigue & body pain during treatment. Please do not hesitate to discuss this further with your doctor, for more information on the management of any symptoms.

recovery

Recovery would vary according to the cancer type and combinations of treatment.

Speak to your doctor to understand the amount of recovery you need following your treatment.

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length of stay

Total Stay:     Length of stay will depend on the treatment plan and the patients response to it.

Average Stay:       1-5 weeks. Some patients with AML will often need to stay in hospital after chemotherapy due to its effects on the immune system, whereas others may be able to receive chemotherapy cycles as an out patient. This will vary according to the treatment plan and the patients response to it.

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