There have been positive advancements that have been made in Australia as far as treating leukaemia is concerned. These advancements are mainly associated with acute lymphocytic leukaemia, and the major treatment in practice is chemotherapy. Leukaemia treatment differs from one patient to the next and from one condition to the next.
To begin with, Australians who suffer from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia may not be in need of treatment for a good number of years. These individuals may most likely need frequent check-ups along with blood tests. Acute lymphatic leukaemia’s diagnosis include: manifestation of immature lymph blasts; and low count of red blood cell and platelets.
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia does not actually present any clear symptoms or extreme clinical manifestation. However, the following clinical manifestations are present: hepatomegaly, chronic fatigue, anorexia, splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. Chronic myeloid leukaemia presents no real symptoms. Classic symptoms of this condition include: joint and bone pain, fatigue, weight loss, and sternal tenderness.
Chemotherapy treatment of leukaemia
Chemotherapeutic treatment encompasses three phases, which include consolidation, induction, and maintenance. Consolidation involves the use of an adjusted form of intensive therapy. Induction involves the use of prednisone and vincristine. Maintenance involves eating a balanced diet that comprises of fluids, fibres and high protein.
Throughout the entire treament of leaukaemia, it is recommended to live a healthy lifestyle by avoiding infections and injury and maintaining oral hygiene. In addition, one is expected to minimize nausea and promote a positive appetite. Chemotherapeutic drugs are consumed intravenously since they are injected into the victim’s veins. There are potential side effects associated with chemotherapy.
The most positive effect is the destruction of leukaemia cells. The aim of chemotherapy is to destroy leukaemia cells and give room for normal cells to reconstruct themselves. However, the rate at which normal cells regenerate themselves makes them vulnerable to chemotherapy. Noticeable side effects of chemotherapeutic treatments include: tiredness, vomiting and nausea among other side effects.
Stem cell / bone marrow transplantation
With bone marrow transplantation, marrow is extracted from a bone by using a needle. In stem cell transplantation, the stem cells normally come from the patient. Normally stem cells are removed from the blood of the child, woman or man suffering from leukaemia, and then returned after the treatment is over. The key reason for this treatment is to make it possible for the leukaemia patients to obtain very high doses of chemotherapy, and in some peculiar cases radiation therapy.
High dose treatment of this nature has the capacity to exterminate the patient’s bone marrow in such a way that the patient’s ability to produce healthy blood cells is altered. Destruction of bone marrow is a fundamental treatment of leukaemia, but it also presents side effects. This treatment also provides room for damaged stem cells to be replaced by healthy stem cells that have the capacity of producing healthy blood cells.
Other forms of leukaemia treatment used in Australia include: clinical trials, blood transfusion, biological therapies, palliative care, fertility support, supportive care, and targeted therapies. These are among the most used treatment options by leukaemia patients in Australia.
1. Treatments: http://www.leukaemia.org.au/blood-cancers/treatments
2. Treatment for Leukaemia: http://www.cancervic.org.au/about-cancer/cancer_types/leukaemia/treatment_for_leukaemia.html