Leukemia is a type of blood cancer and can also be referred to as bone marrow cancer. It involves an abnormal or abrupt increase of the white blood cells in the body.
Leukemia is of several types and some of its common forms are listed below:
• Acute lymphocytic leukemia or ALL
• Chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL
• Hairy cell leukemia
• Acute myelogenous leukemia or AML
• Chronic myelogenous leukemia or CML
Treatment of Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Several approaches of treatment line are available for treatment of leukemia as well as for its type like CML. Systemic therapy is the initial method using medication therapy to kill and eradicate the cancerous cells completely. Several drugs are given via bloodstream which reaches out to the cancer cells and destroys them. A hematologist or even an oncologist is the one who provides the required systemic therapy to the patient. Every individual has different requirement and hence the same regimen might not work for all and the doctor can help in analyzing and prescribing the suitable therapy for the patient.
Following are some of the therapies applied for treating CML:
• Targeted therapy: This treatment involves targeting cancerous cells like some genes, tissues, proteins etc which contribute to cancer development. It blocks the center development and hence limits damage to other healthy cells.
• Chemotherapy: This involves the use of the drugs to kill cancer cells by inhibiting their growth cycle. Drugs like hydroxyurea and many more are used individual drug chemotherapy or even a combination therapy is applied if required.
• Immunotherapy: In this one of treatment, the natural defense system of the body or biological therapy is utilized against cancer cells. It utilizes interferons like Alferon, Roferon-A, Intron A etc helps in reducing white blood cells and even reduces Philadelphia chromosome presence by destroying cells contains it. This therapy helps in restoring the impaired immune system.
Although, a series of tests are required by your doctor to decide the treatment of leukemia and its line of treatment.
Treatment of Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL):
Treatment of leukemia varies as per the type of leukemia and as well as patient requirement. But in case of chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment also depends upon at which stage the diagnosis happens. Early diagnosis might only require monitoring but if the stage is more advanced than chemotherapy can be applied initially for the treatment of leukemia of such type.
There are chances that CLL can be controlled initially for many years by continuing treatment of leukemia. In some cases, treatment of leukemia effects initially causing remission but usually, it is accompanied by a relapse very soon which again needs treatment.
Bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplants help in treating CLL condition completely for sufficiently long periods. There are few other options for treatment of leukemia mainly in CLL type which are used if chemotherapy fails and before the transplant can be approached.
• Radiotherapy is used to shrink the enlarged lymph glands or even swollen spleen. In rare cases spleen surgery much also be a requirement.
• Medications like antifungals, antibacterials, and antibiotics can be used to minimize infection chances during the treatment of leukemia.
• Blood transfusions might be required if any symptoms of anemia are observed.
• Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) injects can be used to boost up low white blood cell counts to maintain the immune system.
• Immunoglobin replacement therapy is also used to help treat and prevent infections during the treatment of leukemia.
Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML):
Treatment of leukemia specifically for AML type involves the application of several different biological agents, chemotherapy schedules, and stem cell transplant. But the type of treatment can only be suggested by the doctor by a thorough and complete evaluation of the condition. Since every case of AML cannot be treated with certain available methods and some complicated cases of relapse or refractory disease involve additional requirements during the treatment of leukemia.
Treatment of Acute Lymphoid Leukemia (ALL)
Treatment of leukemia mainly for ALL type includes the application of long-term chemotherapy. Over the past few years, a more intensive chemotherapy regimen approach is been used by the doctors for treating ALL. But chemotherapy regimens do provide some side effects like very low white blood cell count. So another treatment and drug use might have to be incorporated in order to deal with the complete situation.
However, the overall treatment of leukemia for ALL is split up into 3 phases:
1) Induction of remission period
2) Consolidation or intensification
Cost of Leukemia Treatment in India:
Treatment of leukemia is done at very affordable prices in India, in comparison with the other developed countries offered prices. The basic cost of treatment of leukemia varies depending on its type, stage, and age of the patient. Because all those factors also impact the complication or other disease appearance during the treatment of leukemia which greatly affects the pocket of the patient. Usually, In India treatment of leukemia varies between 10 lakh to 20 lakh. A fixed price can be provided by the hospital, as per the disease status and requirement of the patient and the type of hospital approached for the treatment. The patient might have to undergo several tests and few days of hospital stay so all this greatly impacts the price of treatment of leukemia. The more is the hospitalization period of the patient more billing will add up. Similarly more complicated the case more involvement of another line of treatments might increase the cost of treatment of leukemia.
Q1: Is BMT the only treatment of Leukemia?
A: No, BMT is not the only line of treatment for leukemia. As there are other treatments approaches available but BMT is considered to be the most effective one which is applied when no other option can cure the disease in any way.
Q2: Which is the best country for the treatment of Leukemia and why?
A: India has recently become a big hub of medical tourism. Because India offers several good quality treatments with economic prices to the entire world. The hospitality offered by India is remarkable as well.
Q3: What is the success rate of Leukemia’s treatment?
A: A very good success rate of leukemia treatment is available all around the world and India is also nowhere less than providing those global standard successful leukemia treatments. It fairly gives the patient a good amount of survival with improved quality of life without the disease.