Leukemia – Part III

By October 13, 2023Health Tips

Today, we will wrap up our discussion of leukemia by talking about the treatment options. As you might expect, because there are several different types of leukemia, there are also several treatment options.

What factors determine the treatment of leukemia?
LeukemiaThere are several things that influence what treatment is best for you. These factors include:
  • Your age
  • The type of leukemia
  • Your overall health status
  • How widespread your leukemia is
What are the treatments for leukemia?
Some chronic leukemias do not need treatment for many years. If you have chronic leukemia that does not need treatment yet, your doctor will want to see you regularly to monitor your condition, including:
  • Regular blood work to keep track of your blood cell counts,
  • Monitoring your symptoms,
  • Doing regular physical exams to look for signs that your chronic leukemia may need treatment.
If you have an acute leukemia, or a chronic leukemia that has progressed to the need for treatment, here are some of the common treatments used to fight leukemia:
  • Chemotherapy – Chemicals used to kill the leukemia cells. Your leukemia may need a single drug or a combination of drugs. Some of these drugs are given in an IV and some come in a pill form.
  • Targeted therapy – Targeted drug treatments are designed to focus on blocking specific abnormalities in the cancer cells that are found on the specialized testing done on the bone marrow test. If your leukemia has certain specific abnormalities found, you may benefit from targeted therapy. More targeted drugs are being developed to try to fight more types of leukemia cells.
  • Radiation therapy – Radiation uses X-rays or other high-energy beams to damage leukemia cells and stop their growth. The radiation is directed to precise points on your body where there are collections of leukemia cells. Radiation therapy can also be used to prepare you for a bone marrow transplant.
  • Bone marrow transplant – Also called a stem cell transplant, this helps to reestablish healthy stem cells by replacing the leukemic bone marrow with stem cells that are free of leukemia. These stem cells then regenerate normal bone marrow. Sometimes you can use your own stem cells, but often a stem cell donor is needed.
  • Immunotherapy –Cancer cells have the ability to hide from your immune system. Immunotherapy breaks down their ability to hide. If your immune system can see cancer better, it will fight against it.
  • CAR-T cell therapy – This process takes your own T cells (germ fighting white blood cells) and engineers them to fight cancer cells, then infuses them back into your blood. This is an option for certain types of leukemia.
  • Clinical trials – These are experiments to test new cancer treatments or new ways of using existing treatments. Before joining a clinical trial, you should discuss the benefits and risks of the particular trial in your very particular situation.
I hope that this series about leukemia has been informative for you.
If you have any questions about leukemia, please log into your account and send us your question. We are here to help.

Dr. Anita Bennett MD – Health Tip Content Editor

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
  • Sign in to your account

    Forgot screen name or password?


    First time user?
    Register your account now.

    Register Now

    Need Assistance?
    Contact us at 1-866-525-3362
    or info@edocamerica.com