Is Leukemia Curable?
People often pose the question, is leukemia curable? However, before answering this question, it is very important that we understand what leukemia is. Leukemia is actually a type of cancer. It affects the blood cells. Beginning in the bone marrow where blood cells are manufactured, the cancer disrupts the manufacture of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. These three are tasked with helping the body deal with/resist infection, transportation of oxygen throughout the body and bringing about clotting of blood, respectively. All these tasks are absolutely crucial not only for the body to function well; if the body is to function at all, they must be met!
So is leukemia curable? It is imperative that we first examine how leukemia develops before addressing this question. When you develop leukemia what happens is that your bone marrow manufactures extra white blood cells at an abnormally high rate; these extra cells (leukemia cells) develop very quickly and outlast the normal growth cycle of the normal white blood cells. As time goes by, the leukemia cells become much more in count as opposed to the normal blood cells (both red and white). This results in conditions like anemia, swelling of body organs and even bleeding!
Let us delve more into the signs and symptoms of leukemia. Besides the anemia, swelling of body organs and excessive bleeding mentioned in the previous paragraph, people with leukemia tend to exhibit the following characteristics: running out of breath, skin becomes pale, tiring too quickly, developing of infections such as mouth sores and tonsillitis, diarrhea, lack of appetite and loss of weight, painful joints, just to mention but a few. So what segment of the population is prone to this cancer? It is also important to note that leukemia affects both children and adults. It is also known to affect pregnant women – although very rarely.
Causes of leukemia are 1 of the factor to determine is leukemia curable. We first need to address the causes of this cancer. Doctors still do not fully comprehend the causes of leukemia; however they contend that the following people are at a greater risk of developing this type of cancer: smokers; people who have been exposed to radiation to great extents; people with genetic defects; and people who have suffered from another type of cancer before and were treated using chemotherapy. The diagnosis of leukemia is fairly difficult and complex. Doctors usually have to do a thorough physical examination of the patient. They check for any swellings in the armpits, neck area and also the groin area. They also check whether the patient’s liver and spleen are swollen and /or painful. Then they conduct tests on the patient’s blood for a count of the blood cells; finally, they test the patient’s bone marrow.
Lets look at the treatment and conclude is leukemia curable? Like many other types of cancer, treatment of leukemia involves taking drugs, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Also the doctor may recommend a bone marrow transplant. If detected in good time (early) leukemia is containable and can be suppressed and managed. Cases of patients surviving and living prolonged lives with the condition have been documented and are on the increase. However, it is not a condition that patients can be totally cured from. Patients need to constantly seek the advice of their doctors.