Is Beta Thalassemia Treatable?

Is Beta Thalassemia Treatable?
Is Beta Thalassemia Treatable?

Let us first try to understand, what is Beta Thalassemia?

Beta Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder. It is characterized by reduced or defective production of beta-chains in hemoglobin (a component of blood). As a result of which, the patient may experience severe anemia or can remain clinically asymptomatic. Globally, an incidence of beta thalassemia is estimated to be around 100,000.  Since it is a genetic disorder, the severity of the disease depends upon the extent of gene mutation.

Now the next thing we should know is what are the symptoms. These range from mild to moderate anemia to severe organ related complication. A beta thalassaemic patient chronically suffers from symptoms such as low hemoglobin levels, jaundice (pale appearance or yellow color of the skin), irritability, slow growth, dark urine, deformities of the facial bones and a swollen abdomen. The appearance of these symptoms in a child often alarms the physician about the condition who then orders further tests.

One should know that there is the difference between a disease being curable and a disease being treatable. For example, a throat infection, take some antibiotics and you are good to go. But some diseases like Hepatitis B are incurable.

Same is the case for beta thalassemia. As far as the cure is concerned, bone marrow transplant has been tried but hasn’t shown promising results due to a number of side effects. But yes, “Treatment of Beta Thalassemia” is there. This has helped to increase the lifespan of thalassaemic patients without any complications. Nowadays, many major beta-thalassemia patients are leading a normal healthy life thanks to the development of new therapeutic measures.

Treatment of Beta Thalassemia:

Treatment major involves regular blood transfusions to keep the symptoms of anemia at bay. Jaundice and paleness still persist but the body now has blood to perform regular functions. In order to reduce the accumulation of iron in the body (due to the breakdown of RBCs and Haemoglobin molecules), the patient is given Iron Chelators. The iron chelation therapy basically consists of certain molecules which bind with the free iron getting accumulated in the liver and other important organs and facilitates its removal via the urine. Thus, like earlier times patients suffering from beta-thalassemia do not undergo organ failure from an accumulation of excessive iron in the body. Beta thalassaemic treatment also involves the daily folic acid supplements, regular check-ups for heart and liver (Cardiac function tests and Liver Function tests). Some patients may require certain surgical procedures such as removal of the spleen (splenectomy) because it gets enlarged to hoarding of dead RBCs. Also, in some cases, gallbladder removal may also need to be done.

Beta thalassemia, nowadays, is considered very much like other chronic disorders such as Diabetes or Hypertension which can be managed by life-long therapy. They lead normal lives, study, get jobs and get married. But as it is applicable to all of us, genetic counseling is a must before marrying and having kids. A person suffering from beta-thalassemia marrying a person with the gene have a 100% chance of passing on the gene to their child. While a person being treated for beta thalassemia major can also transfer the condition to his/her offspring even if the partner doesn’t have the gene.

Treatment of Beta Thalassemia is extensively available in India:

All these treatment options are available with us. We have a dedicated Transfusion Medicine department with excellent doctors that provide round the clock care and treatment to the patients. With the advent of high-technology blood banks and storage facilities risks related to blood have reduced as compared to earlier times. Proper matching of the antibodies is done before starting the treatment for beta thalassemia.

Some other risks associated with the blood transfusion are fever, chills, iron overload, allergic reactions, dizziness, and shortness of breath. But with us, you have got all of this sorted. We keep all of this in mind and our staff is well-trained to handle such complications. We prefer to inform the patient about all the pros and cons of the therapy before starting the treatment of beta thalassemia. Patients and their attendants know what to expect and what is being done.

About BloodCancerCure:

BloodCancerCure is the world’s first such organization working 24*7 on helping blood cancer patients. BloodCancerCure works for patients across the world by providing the lowest cost for bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy, and Bone marrow test. You can contact at +91-8448533753 to talk to our experts at BloodCancerCure for BMT treatment in India.