Leukemia is a cancer that affects the tissue of blood cells. Leukemia can also be found in bone marrow; this is where, more often than not, leukemia initiates. Leukemia is basically an out of control overgrowth of cells that do not help the body, instead they fight against it and continue to grow and develop even though they are not needed. These cells, once white blood cells working to help your body fight off any kinds of infection, become abnormal in size and shape and are mass produced, ultimately making them leukemia cells. These cells make it difficult and near impossible for your other cells to function, such as red blood cells which oxygenate your body and platelets whose job it is to clot blood. These other cells in combination with your white blood cells each have a job to help your body function properly and without them the damage can become extensive and beyond repair.
There is no known or exact cause for leukemia but there are several ways to treat it and attempt to manage it. There are different types of leukemia and the effects that they may have can vary from person to person. Here are some of the available treatments for leukemia today:
Chemotherapy- This type of treatment for leukemia works to destroy the abnormal white blood cells by bombarding the body with drugs to kill off the cells. This is an extremely exhausting process and diminishes energy and health, because often the drugs kill some healthy cells along with the unhealthy cancerous ones, which depletes one’s health. This can take any number of weeks and it is not always successful.
Intrathecal Chemotherapy-This treatment is used to destroy cancer that has spread. This treatment is delivered right into the spinal canal to effectively treat the cancer and attempt to kill any cancerous cells that have spread.
Radiation- Bombarding the body with drugs is not the only way to go. Radiation therapy is also used when it comes to treating this disease, because it works in the same manner just a different delivery system.
Cancer is often a long and uphill battle and these methods of treatment may not kill or rid one’s body of the cancer. Cancer can go into remission but it sometimes comes back and spreads even further the second time. The drugs and treatments available are often combined into a sort of cocktail to kill the cancer altogether, but this is not without doing damage to the already healthy cells a person with this disease may have. If none of these treatments work, there are some clinical trials that are available to leukemia patients. These are not always safe or reliable and are still in their experimental stages of development. Some of these may prove successful so it may be worth a shot if all else fails. There is no cure to cancer or this type of cancer, as of yet. The treatment is exhausting but crucial to fight the cancer and grow healthy tissue, while simultaneously killing off the cancerous ones.