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Treatments for Leukemia

Treatments for Leukemia:

Treatment of leukemia starts with prevention. Preventive measures include not smoking and avoiding dangerous long-term exposure to certain dangerous chemicals, such as benzene.

Prevention also includes seeking regular medical care throughout the lifetime. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate the risks of developing leukemia and asses and begin early diagnostic testing for such symptoms as fatigue, enlarged spleen, shortness of breath, and easy bruising. These measures greatly increase the chances of catching leukemia in its earliest, most curable stage.

The general goal of treatment of leukemia is to bring about a complete remission of the disease, in which there is no longer any sign of the disease in the body.

Treatment plans for leukemia are individualized for each person's specific case. Treatment plans are based on the specific type of leukemia, a person's medical history, age, coexisting diseases, the stage of advancement of leukemia and other factors. Treatment for leukemia is best delivered by a team of specialists in leukemia care. These specialists include hematology oncologists, hematologists, and registered nurses who specialize in cancer and leukemia care.

Treatment may require a combination of chemotherapy, transfusions of red blood cells and platelets, bone marrow transplant, and/or stem cell transplant. It may also be recommended that a person with leukemia enroll in a clinical trial that is testing promising new therapies and treatments for leukemia.

For people whose leukemia has progressed to an advanced stage and has become terminal, the goal of treatment may change. Treatment then may shift away from curing the disease and focus on measures to keep a person comfortable and maximize the quality of life. This treatment may be administered through a hospice program.

Treatment List for Leukemia

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Leukemia includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

Leukemia: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Leukemia may include:

Leukemia: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Leukemia:

Curable Types of Leukemia

Possibly curable types of Leukemia may include:

Leukemia: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Drugs and Medications used to treat Leukemia:

Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any prescription drug, OTC drug, medication, treatment or change in treatment plans.

Some of the different medications used in the treatment of Leukemia include:

  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cycloblastin
  • Cytoxan
  • Neosar
  • Procytox
  • Prednisone - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Apo-Prednisone - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Aspred-C - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Deltasone - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Liquid Pred - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Meticorten - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Metreton - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Novoprednisone - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Orasone - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Panasol-S - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Paracort - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Prednicen-M - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Prednisone Intensol - used as part of a combination therapy
  • SK-Prednisone - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Sterapred - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Sterapred-DS - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Winpred - used as part of a combination therapy
  • Cytarbine
  • Cytosar-U
  • Laracit
  • Doxorubicin
  • Adriamycin PFS
  • Adriamycin RDF
  • Rubex
  • Adriamycin
  • Adriblastina
  • Adriblastina RD
  • Caelyx
  • Doxolem
  • Doxotec
  • Methotrexate
  • Rheumatrex
  • Trexal
  • Apo-Methotrexate
  • Ratio-Methotrexate
  • Ledertrexate
  • Texate
  • Trixilem
  • Vincristine
  • Vincasar PFS
  • Citomid
  • Vintec
  • Amsacrine
  • Amsidyl
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Hydrea
  • Zavedos

Latest treatments for Leukemia:

The following are some of the latest treatments for Leukemia:

Hospital statistics for Leukemia:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Leukemia:

  • 0.37% (46,787) of hospital consultant episodes were for lymphoid leukaemia in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 97% of hospital consultant episodes for lymphoid leukaemia required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 62% of hospital consultant episodes for lymphoid leukaemia were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 38% of hospital consultant episodes for lymphoid leukaemia were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Leukemia

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Leukemia:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Leukemia, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Medical news summaries about treatments for Leukemia:

The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Leukemia:

Discussion of treatments for Leukemia:

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Treatment for leukemia is complex. It varies with the type of leukemia and is not the same for all patients. The doctor plans the treatment to fit each patient's needs. The treatment depends not only on the type of leukemia, but also on certain features of the leukemia cells, the extent of the disease, and whether the leukemia has been treated before. It also depends on the patient's age, symptoms, and general health. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Acute leukemia needs to be treated right away. The goal of treatment is to bring about a remission . Then, when there is no evidence of the disease, more therapy may be given to prevent a relapse . Many people with acute leukemia can be cured.

Chronic leukemia patients who do not have symptoms may not require immediate treatment. However, they should have frequent checkups so the doctor can see whether the disease is progressing. When treatment is needed, it can often control the disease and its symptoms. However, chronic leukemia can seldom be cured. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Most patients with leukemia are treated with chemotherapy . Some also may have radiation therapy and/or bone marrow transplantation (BMT) or biological therapy . In some cases, surgery to remove the spleen (an operation called a splenectomy ) may be part of the treatment plan.

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Depending on the type of leukemia, patients may receive a single drug or a combination of two or more drugs.

Some anticancer drugs can be taken by mouth. Most are given by IV injection (injected into a vein). Often, patients who need to have many IV treatments receive the drugs through a catheter .

One end of this thin, flexible tube is placed in a large vein, often in the upper chest. Drugs are injected into the catheter, rather than directly into a vein, to avoid the discomfort of repeated injections and injury to the skin.

Anticancer drugs given by IV injection or taken by mouth enter the bloodstream and affect leukemia cells in most parts of the body. However, the drugs often do not reach cells in the central nervous system because they are stopped by the blood-brain barrier . This protective barrier is formed by a network of blood vessels that filter blood going to the brain and spinal cord. To reach leukemia cells in the central nervous system, doctors use intrathecal chemotherapy . In this type of treatment, anticancer drugs are injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Intrathecal chemotherapy can be given in two ways. Some patients receive the drugs by injection into the lower part of the spinal column. Others, especially children, receive intrathecal chemotherapy through a special type of catheter called an Ommaya reservoir . This device is placed under the scalp, where it provides a pathway to the cerebrospinal fluid. Injecting anticancer drugs into the reservoir instead of into the spinal column can make intrathecal chemotherapy easier and more comfortable for the patient.

Chemotherapy is given in cycles: a treatment period followed by a recovery period, then another treatment period, and so on. In some cases, the patient has chemotherapy as an outpatient at the hospital, at the doctor's office, or at home. However, depending on which drugs are given and the patient's general health, a hospital stay may be necessary. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Radiation therapy is used along with chemotherapy for some kinds of leukemia. Radiation therapy (also called Radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. The radiation comes from a large machine.

Radiation therapy for leukemia may be given in two ways. For some patients, the doctor may direct the radiation to one specific area of the body where there is a collection of leukemia cells, such as the spleen or testicles. Other patients may receive radiation that is directed to the whole body. This type of radiation therapy, called total-body irradiation, usually is given before a bone marrow transplant. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Bone marrow transplantation also may be used for some patients. The patient's leukemia-producing bone marrow is destroyed by high doses of drugs and radiation and is then replaced by healthy bone marrow. The healthy bone marrow may come from a donor, or it may be marrow that has been removed from the patient and stored before the high-dose treatment. If the patient's own bone marrow is used, it may first be treated outside the body to remove leukemia cells. Patients who have a bone marrow transplant usually stay in the hospital for several weeks. Until the transplanted bone marrow begins to produce enough white blood cells, patients have to be carefully protected from infection. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Biological therapy involves treatment with substances that affect the immune system's response to cancer. Interferon is a form of biological therapy that is used against some types of leukemia. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI (Excerpt)

Because leukemia patients get infections very easily, they may receive antibiotics and other drugs to help protect them from infections. They are often advised to stay out of crowds and away from people with colds and other infectious diseases. If an infection develops, it can be serious and should be treated promptly. Patients may need to stay in the hospital to treat the infection.

Anemia and bleeding are other problems that often require supportive care. Transfusions of red blood cells may be given to help reduce the shortness of breath and fatigue that anemia can cause. Platelet transfusions can help reduce the risk of serious bleeding.

Dental care also is very important. Leukemia and chemotherapy can make the mouth sensitive, easily infected, and likely to bleed. Doctors often advise patients to have a complete dental exam before treatment begins. Dentists can show patients how to keep their mouth clean and healthy during treatment. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

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