Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a disease in which abnormal cells develop in your body that change its DNA structure. This can start from any organ and then spreads into your tissues and the rest of the body. However, when cancer is in your blood, it spreads into the rest of your body faster. This form of cancer is known as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) can wreak havoc in the body as immature blood cells are created in place of mature blood cells.
The word ‘acute’ is legitimately used in the name of the disease as the disease spreads rapidly and its progress is at full tilt. ‘Lymphoblastic’ in the name of the disease speaks about the lymphocytes which are the white blood cells.
This type of cancer is very common among children but on the positive side, the chances of getting cured are more. However, in case of adults, the chances of a cure are far less as opposed to the younger ones.
Symptoms Of Lymphoblastic Leukemia?
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia has many signs and symptoms and let us just briefly summarize them:
- Gum bleeding
- Pain in the bones
- Frequent cases of infections
- Paleness in the skin
- Severe and frequent nosebleeds
- Puffed out or gasping for breath
- Fatigue and weakness with lower energy levels in the body
- Lymph nodes can swell up to create lumps in and around the armpit, neck, groin, and abdomen.
Diagnosing ALL (Acute lymphoblastic leukemia )
If any such signs and symptoms persist and are visible, it is best to schedule an appointment with a specialist doctor. Sometimes, most of the signs and symptoms are similar to that of flu and this can be deceptive. However, signs of flu improve with time and the best doctors can eventually zero in on the root cause easily.
Proper diagnosis of leukemia is done by the best doctors if situations do not improve according to expectations. The diagnosis begins with certain tests and procedures:
A blood test is vital to the cause as it will efficiently reveal the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It will also provide information about the immature cells in the bone marrow called blast cells.
Tests For Bone Marrow
A sample of the bone marrow is taken with a needle from the breastbone or the hipbone. This sample helps the doctors to examine the blood cells according to molecular and genetic features. All the changes in the cancer cells are minutely examined and an in-depth analysis of the leukemia cells is done. The doctors base their fact findings on the origin of the leukemia cells from T-lymphocytes or B-lymphocytes.
Computerized tomography or CT scan, X-ray, and also ultrasound scan are certain imaging tests are done to determine the spread of cancer in the spinal cord, brain, and other parts.
Tests Of Spinal Fluid
Spinal tap or lumbar puncture is done on the patient for the collection of the spinal fluid sample. The testing of this sample will determine the extent of the spread of cancer cells.
Treating ALL (Acute lymphoblastic leukemia )
There are different phases for treating lymphocytic leukemia. These include:
- Induction therapy: This is the first phase as most of the leukemia cells are destroyed for the normal production of blood cells.
- Consolidation therapy: This second phase is also termed post-remission therapy and the remaining leukemia cells are destroyed in the process.
- Maintenance therapy: Regrowth of leukemia cells is prevented in the third phase of the treatment.
- Spinal Cord’s preventive treatment: The central nervous system can have leukemia cells for which chemotherapy drugs are injected. The spinal cord has a fluid covering and the treatment is applied in that specific position.
The following treatments are used to cure leukemia:
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Transplant of bone marrow
Acute Leukemia Clinical Trials
Experiments or clinical trials are used as a modern method of making the best use of existing treatments and also the latest cancer treatments. These clinical trials confer the patients a chance where they can be treated with the latest methods of cancer treatment. Clinical trials come with their fair share of risks and benefits and there is uncertainty attached to the treatment.
On a Final Note
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), get in touch with the best doctors in town. It is a must to discuss every option with the doctor whenever you see fit and undergo rigorous treatment to restore normal health.