Leukemia is a chronic disease that is fatal if not treated very early. There are many people who do not realize that they are suffering from this disease and they die because of this fact. It is very important for an individual to learn about the clinical features, signs and also the symptoms of the disease so that they are able to identify the disease early enough for the treatment to be initiated.
There are various clinical features of the disease and they are listed here.
Clinical features of leukemia-
The disease is initially characterized by predominance of undifferentiated leucocytes. These leucocytes are an important component of the blood and various clinical symptoms arise in patients because of the following reasons. The first reason is due to bone marrow failure.
Anemia: Anemia is a condition where there is very decreased amount of hemoglobin in the blood. This causes various diseases because if the blood does not have enough hemoglobin, then the transport of Oxygen is also decreased. The presence of anemia can also cause increased risk of various kinds of infections.
Bleeding manifestations: There are also various bleeding disorders that occur because of the presence of cancer of the blood. The reason for this is that when the bleeding occurs, there could be a lack of certain components of the blood.
Recurrent infections: Infections that occur in a person with Leukemia is not only because of the disease itself, but it can also be because of the anemia and various other side effects of the disease.
Fever: Fever is a common problem that is seen in people who suffer from Leukemia. Fever is a sign that there is some kind of infection present in the person.
2. Due to organ infiltration
There are also various clinical features that occur because of the organ infiltration that occurs and some of these features are listed here.
1. Pain and tenderness of bones: there is pain in the body of the person who is affected because the decreased amount of blood causes the disease to progress and cause pain and tenderness of the bone.
2. Gum enlargement: there is also gum enlargement seen commonly as this is a sign of decreased immunity and there are many with leukemia, who suffer from this condition.
3. Headache, blurring of vision, nausea, vomiting (due to infiltration to brain layer) can also be seen in those affected by leukemia
Treatment for Leukemia:
Though the treatment is not very effective in all those affected and it depends on the severity of the disease and the stage in which it is present, there are some common methods of treatment and they are listed here. The treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms as and when they appear.
Treatment of anemia is by fresh blood transfusions and platelet concentrates to overcome lack of blood.
Treatment and prophylaxis of infection- Topical and bowel sterilization can be done.
Treatment of excessive proliferation is with cytotoxic drugs (to kill the hidden cancerous cell population). This is the chemotherapy that is commonly used to treat cancer.
Bone marrow transplantation is increasingly being used for treating young adults.
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