Leukemia: Causes and Treatment

Leukemia: Causes and Treatment

Leukemia is the cancer of the blood cells. When left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure, infertility etc. Read on to know about its causes and treatment…

It occurs when bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, these multiply rapidly and surround the normal blood cells causing anemia, bleeding etc.

What causes it?

A combination of genetics and environmental factors could cause leukemia. Generally it occurs as a result of mutations in the DNA. The cells grow rapidly when compared to normal cells and cause leukemia.

How is it treated?

Based on various factors like age, overall health, type of leukemia etc, the doctor will decide the type of treatment.

Various treatments are:

  • Chemotherapy: This is used to destroy leukemia cells.
  • Biological therapy: This makes the immune system recognize and fight the leukemia cells.
  • Targeted therapy: In this, drugs are used to target specific vulnerabilities within the cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: In this, X-rays or high-energy beams are used to destroy leukemia cells and put an end to their growth. This therapy can target a specific area or the whole body.
  • Stem cell transplant: A person undergoing this treatment will firstly go through chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This is done to destroy the diseased bone marrow. Thereafter stem cells are infused, these stem cells will rebuild the bone marrow. The stem cells can be obtained from a donor or it can be your own stem cells. Hence stem cell transplant is a procedure in which diseased bone marrow is replaced with a healthy bone marrow.

A lump in the neck, armpit or groin and unexpected weight loss are signs of leukemia. If you experience any of these signs, consult a hematologist online at eVaidya now!

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