When is Leukemia treatment required?
When the body’s blood forming tissues along with the bone marrow and the lymphatic system gets affected by an abnormal growth of cells, then the condition is referred to as leukemia. The white blood cells normally divide in our body as per need, but in leukemia abnormal white blood cells are produced that don’t function in a proper manner. Leukemia symptoms normally go undetected by the patients as they are similar to the symptoms of fever and other common illness. Children and teens are often diagnosed with leukemia as it happens to be a common type of cancer in children.
Types of Leukemia
Depending on the speed of its progress and the types of cells involved, leukemia can be categorized in different forms.
On the basis of progression leukemia can be classified into:
- Acute Leukemia- In this condition, the abnormal blood cells are generally considered to be immature ones which are unable to function normally. Their multiply rapidly, making the condition of the patient worse and needs immediate and timely treatment.
- Chronic Leukemia- This leukemia comprises various types, the common ones being where too many or too less cells are produced. This type of leukemia generally involves mature cells and they function normally for a certain span. Thus, they can go undetected for years.
On the basis of the type of white blood cells getting affected, leukemia can be of the following kind:
- Lymphocytic leukemia- In this condition, the lymphocytes responsible for forming the lymphatic tissues which builds our immune system, gets affected.
- Myelogenous leukemia- The myeloid cells that help in the formation of the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets gets affected in this condition.
Different methods to perform Leukemia treatment
Depending on the age of the patient along with his/her health condition, the treatment for leukemia will differ. The common methods of treatment include:
- Chemotherapy- Depending on the type of leukemia, a patient may be given chemotherapy constituted of a single drug or a combination of drugs. It can either be injected into the blood or taken orally which helps in destroying the cancer cells in the body.
- Immunotherapy- Also termed as biological therapy, medications are given that help in boosting the immune system which will fight the leukemia cells.
- Targeted Therapy- This therapy helps in attacking certain kinds of vulnerabilities within the malignant cells which helps in controlling the growth of malignant cells.
- Radiation Therapy-High energy beams are used to destroy and prevent the growth of the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy can be given either at a specific location in the body or over the whole body depending upon the condition of the patient.
- Stem Cell Transplant-High doses of chemo or radiation therapy is given to destroy the diseased bone marrow that helps in the replacement of it with a healthy bone marrow in the process of stem cell transplant.
- Surgical methods include splenectomy where the doctor removes the spleen filled with abnormal cells and affects the surrounding organs.
How it is done?
Leukemia patients are treated by a hematologist-oncologist. A lot depends upon the type and the stage of cancer which facilitates the prognosis. Leukemia which progress slowly may not need immediate and serious therapeutic help but can be treated with medications also. In case, the stage is advanced necessary steps should be taken.
Precautions / Points to remember
The following factors should be taken into consideration by a leukemia patient:
- People, who have undergone chemo or radiation therapy while being treated for other cancer, are prone to developing certain kinds of leukemia.
- Genetic disorders like Down syndrome often initiate different kinds of leukemia.
- Exposure to chemicals like benzene increases the patient’s chance to get affected by leukemia.
Success rate of Leukemia treatment
The sooner leukemia gets diagnosed, the better the chances of prognosis. Recovery also depends upon the stage and type of the cancer in the patient. Factors which might raise complexities during the treatment are problems of blood disorders, chromosome mutations, old age and such others. According to findings, the five year survival rate of leukemia patients in India after receiving the treatment is around 60%. Though the death rates have fallen and there surfaces a significant change in the treatment procedures which helps people to combat with Leukemia in an efficient manner.
Cost of Leukemia treatment in India
India is known for its effective treatment rendered at a budget friendly cost. The cost varies from hospital to hospital and the chemotherapy cycles along with some medications and some diagnostic tests amounts to on an average of $20000. Treatment cost might also vary from person to person as treatment would be different according to the type leukemia. The cost might vary from $15000 to $25000. In some of the government hospitals the incurred cost could be as low as $5000. Thus many international patients chose India for their treatment as western countries incur comparatively higher costs for cancer treatments.
Top Indian hospitals for Leukemia treatment
India has a wide network of specialized medical units providing necessary treatment to cancer patients. With advanced means of technology and treatment facilities, some of the major hospitals dealing with leukemia are:
- Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai
- Medanta-The Medicity, Gurgaon
- American Oncology Institute, Hyderabad
- Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Delhi
- BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute,Gurgaon
- Apollo Cancer Institute, Chennai
- Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
- Delhi State Cancer Institute, Delhi.
- BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Karnataka
Best Leukemia treatment surgeons in India
Some of the experienced doctors in the field of leukemia noted for their successful treatment to patients are:
- Vinod Raina (Fortis Memorial Research Institute,Gurgaon)
- Ashpk Vaid (Medanta-The Medicity, Gurgaon)
- Rajesh Mistry (Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai)
- Dharma R Choudhary (BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi)
- Satish Rao ( Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai)
- Niti R Narang ( Fortis Hospital,Bangalore)
- Amita Mahajan (Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi)
- Dinesh Bhurani (Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Delhi)
- Gouri Shankar Bhattacharya (Fortis Hospital, Kolkata)
- Ravindra Vottery ( Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad)