Treatments and Cost Related to Leukemia Treatment
A cancer of blood, leukemia starts from the bone marrow. It can be acute or chronic. Though the cause of this disease is yet not known, according to doctors, genetic mutation, exposure to radiation and family health history can be plausible reasons behind it.
Leukemia treatment in India is provided at all the top-notch hospitals in India.
With modern infrastructure, advanced treatment facilities and skilled hematologists and oncologists in India one can get the best and most comprehensive treatment for leukemia.
All of these facilities are provided to patients at a price that is highly affordable.
Classification of Leukemia
Based on how fast it develops and the types of cells it affects, leukemia is categorized.
On the basis of its speed of growth in the body, leukemia is of two types:
Acute leukemia: In acute leukemia, the abnormal blood cells (or blasts) grows and spreads rapidly. These cells are immature and, unlike, normal blood cells do not function properly.
Chronic leukemia: The production of blood cells can vary in chronic leukemia as the growth may be slow or fast. These are mature cells that even functions for some time.
On the basis of the type of white blood cells it affects, leukemia is categorized into the following:
Lymphocytic leukemia: The lymphoid cells or tissue of which the immune system is build up of is affected in lymphocytic leukemia.
Myelogenous leukemia: Myelogenous leukemia affects the myeloid cells responsible for the production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Types of Leukemia
Based on the above categories, leukemia is of 6 types:
Acute lymphocytic leukemia
Acute myelogenous leukemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Chronic myelogenous leukemia
Hairy Cell Leukemia
Symptoms of Leukemia
The symptoms of leukemia may vary according to its types. However, the common symptoms of leukemia are as listed below:
Fever or chills
Exhaustion or weakness
Frequent or severe infections
Loss of weight
Bleeding or bruising easily
Petechiae (a condition in which small red spots appear on the skin
Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
Excessive perspiration, especially at night
Pain or tenderness in the bones
Diagnosis of Leukemia
Diagnosis of leukemia consists of the following tests:
Physical examination to look for bodily symptoms of leukemia.
Blood tests to read the patient’s blood count.
Bone marrow tests.
Lymph node biopsy to check the cause of swollen lymph nodes.
X-ray, MRI scan and Ultrasound are performed to check the effects of leukemia on the bones, brain, kidney, liver and spleen.
CT scan to check lymph nodes in the chest.
Treatment procedures of Leukemia
Leukemia treatment is provided by the team of doctors that include hematologist, radiation oncologist, nurses, a cancer care coordinator, and other related health professionals like a dietician and a counselor. Common treatment procedures used to fight leukemia include:
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is one of the common options for leukemia treatment. According to the condition of the patient, the treatment consists of a single drug or a combination of drugs that is either provided as a pill or is injected into his/her veins to kill the leukemia cells.
Biological therapy: Biological therapy, also known as immunotherapy, consists of living organisms, components derived from them or are produced artificially in laboratories. In stead of destroying the leukemia cells, these drugs of immunotherapy use the body’s immune system to fightthe disease. Often it is used with other treatment options as well.
Targeted therapy: In targeted therapy, drugs are introduced in the patient’s body to identify and destroy only the cells which are causing leukemia. For instance, the function of a specific protein within the leukemia cells is stopped by the drug imatinib.
Radiation therapy: X-rays and high energy beams are used in this therapy to destroy leukemia cells and stop their growth. Radiation therapy can be targeted to one particular area in the patient’s body where the leukemia cells have accumulated or it can also be provided to the whole body.
Stem cell transplant: The procedure of stem cell transplant involves the replacement of the patient’s damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. The procedure is often preceded by a chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy the leukemia cells in the bone marrow.
Factors affecting the cost of leukemia treatment
The following factors affect the treatment cost of leukemia:
The hospital, the patient chooses.
Room –Standard single room, deluxe room, super deluxe room for the number of nights specified (including nursing fee, meals, room rate, and room service).
The type of leukemia treatment suggested by the hematologist.
Fee for the team of doctors.
Standard test and diagnostic procedures.
Cost of the follow –up care required after the procedure.
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