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Describe the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of chronic leukemia - Essay Example

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Chronic leukemia is the cancer of blood and bone marrow, and involves production of too many white blood cells, which ultimately crowd out healthy blood cells (Faguet 2004). At first, leukemia cells are said to do the…
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Describe the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of chronic leukemia
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Describe the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of chronic leukemia Introduction Chronic leukemia isone of the most common forms of leukemia. Chronic leukemia is the cancer of blood and bone marrow, and involves production of too many white blood cells, which ultimately crowd out healthy blood cells (Faguet 2004). At first, leukemia cells are said to do the normal work done by normal white blood cells. Chronic leukemia has varied biology and natural history, and may develop into antagonistic and difficult-to-treat stages.
Symptoms
In its first stages of development, persons with this disease may experience few or no symptoms. However, most of the symptoms are recognized during the accelerated phase, which is a more dangerous stage (Wiernik 2001). This is when leukemia cells grow more rapidly. One of the most common symptoms of chronic leukemia is swollen or enlarged lymph nodes. Other symptoms include fever, bone pain, weight loss, night sweats, reduced immunity, abdominal discomforts, and fatigue among many others.
Diagnosis
In the initial diagnosis, key factors include lack of significant circulating blasts, frequent thrombocytosis, and mild anemia. Chronic leukemia patients exhibit a cytochemical abnormality, characterised by low leukocyte alkaline phosphatase (Schiller 2003). A record of low leukocyte alkaline phosphatase is associated with relatively low levels of granulocyte colony- stimulating factor. Additional laboratory features include elevated elastase and uric acid levels. However, in order to confirm the disease, a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy is required to all patients considered to have chronic leukemia (Wiernik 2001). This helps not only to verify the diagnosis, but also to offer some essential information concerning the stage of the disease. In general, patients with chronic leukemia are diagnosed with immature leukocytes in their blood, and include increased number of white blood cells taking abnormal shapes (Skeel and Khleif 2011). However, the red blood cells and platelets tend to appear to be less than the normal quantities.
Treatment
Due to its nature of slow progression, chronic leukemia may not call for immediate treatment. However, it is vital for persons with this type of leukemia to seek frequent check ups for proper monitoring of the disease (Moini 2012). Nevertheless, there are five stages involved in treatment of this type of leukemia: chemotherapy is one of them and it is used to kill leukemia cells, which involves use of anti-cancer drugs (Swearingen 2008). Radiation is also used to kill cancer cells, which involves exposing them to high-energy radiation. Interferon therapy is used to slow the reproduction of leukemia cells, and at the same time, promote the immune system. In extreme cases, stem cell transplantation is conducted in order to enable treatment with high doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Lastly, a surgery may be opted for to remove an enlarged spleen.
Prognosis
It is argued that the natural history of chronic leukemia is vital, with endurance times from first diagnosis that range from two to twenty years, and also a medication survival of roughly ten years. However, until mid 1970s, there existed no reliable clinically applicable decisive factor that would give way for the potential separation of patients containing poor outlook for survival from patients with an outstanding prognosis (Moreau 2008). In this regard, physicians were forced to find a need for therapeutic intervention in patients with chronic leukemia.
Conclusion
Chronic leukemia is the cancer of blood and bone marrow, and involves production of too many white blood cells, which ultimately crowd out healthy blood cells. Symptoms include swollen or enlarged lymph nodes. Other symptoms include fever, bone pain, weight loss, night sweats, reduced immunity, abdominal discomforts, and fatigue among many others. Patients with chronic leukemia are diagnosed with immature leukocytes in their blood. Treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation, interferon therapy, stem cell transplantation, and surgery to remove an enlarged spleen.
Bibliography:
Faguet, B. G., 2004. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: molecular genetics, biology, diagnosis, and management. Totowa, N.J.: Humana Press.
Moini, J., 2012. Introduction to pathology for the physical therapist assistant. Boston: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Moreau, B. I., 2008. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: new research. New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
Schiller, J. G., 2003. Chronic leukemias and lymphomas: biology, pathophysiology, and clinical management. Totowa: N.J.: Humana press, cop.
Skeel, T. R. and Khleif, N. S., 2011. Handbook of cancer chemotherapy. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health.
Swearingen, L. P., 2008. All-in-one care planning resource: medical-surgical, pediatric, maternity, and psychiatric nursing care plans. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby/Elsevier.
Wiernik, H. P., 2001. Adult leukemias. Hamilton [u.a.]: Decker. Read More
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