Medical Resources: Understanding Leukemia
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It manifests itself when the blood begins producing too many white blood cells. Leukemia occurs in both adults and children. The leukemia survival rate is around fifty percent, but it can be a difficult disease to treat. Many people live with leukemia for several years while trying to fight it. There are four basic types of leukemia, but there are subcategories within those types. Doctors may use a variety of methods to treat leukemia.
Living with Leukemia
Many people live with chronic leukemia for several years. There are drugs that help to fight the disease and slow its progress. There are many support groups for people with leukemia, and for their family members. When you have been diagnosed you need to work out a treatment plan with your doctor and follow it. You do have the opportunity to continue living a fairly normal life, especially if the leukemia responds well to the drugs.
- Interview with Susan: an ex-leukemia patient – The story of a patient living with leukemia.
- Children with Leukemia Are Living Longer Lives: An article about how the survival rate for childhood cancer patients has improved.
- 25 Practical Tips for Patients: Tips to help patients who are currently living with cancer.
- Living with Leukemia: A basic guide for patients just diagnosed with leukemia.
- Teens Living With Cancer – Leukemia: A basic guide for teens just diagnosed with leukemia.
Know About Leukemia
Understanding leukemia will help you to better fight the disease. The course of the disease for children is different than it is for adults. The treatment options are different as well. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and treatment processes will make it easier to fight the disease and to support a loved one who is suffering from it.
- Leukemia FAQs: A basic breakdown of information about the diagnosis and symptoms of leukemia.
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center–Leukemia: A breakdown of the basic types of leukemia.
- Leukemia Basics: An overview of the symptoms, and treatment options.
- Pediatric Leukemia: An explanation of leukemia and how it affects children.
- What Is Leukemia: An overview of what causes leukemia and treatment plans with the option to find more detailed information.
- Differences Between Acute and Chronic Leukemia: An overview about how the different forms affect people both long-term and short-term.
Each case of leukemia will require a unique treatment plan. Many doctors start with some sort of chemotherapy or drug therapy to see how well the leukemia responds. If there are tumors related to leukemia, they will be removed surgically. If the leukemia does not respond well to the drug therapy, then the patient may need a bone marrow transplant. There are alternative methods of treatment you can explore as well as clinical trials available if your leukemia does not respond to traditional treatments.
- Treatment Options for Leukemia: A list of treatment options and an explanation that each case requires a different treatment approach depending on the state and symptoms.
- Leukemia Treatment Options: An overview of the basic treatment options for leukemia.
- Researchers make dramatic strides in understanding and treating leukemia: An article looks at how far leukemia treatments have come in fighting the disease effectively.
- Alternative Treatment Options for Leukemia: A look at the risks of homeopathy treatments and the risks involved if a parent wants to pursue this course of action for his child.
- Drugs Approved for Cancer Treatment: The National Cancer Institute lists drugs approved for the treatment of leukemia. You can also find alternative treatment options and clinical trials for treatment at this site.
- Breakthrough Leukemia Treatment: This article reports on a recent study that dramatically improved the fight against leukemia in three patients.
Leukemia and Genetics
Since leukemia spreads through the alteration of your genes in your body, most of the genetic research for leukemia has been focused on finding which genes change and how those genes spread the disease. Some studies have been successful at isolating specific genes. Once scientists identify the genes, they can begin working on medicines that specifically target the genes. Most leukemia is not inherited since it is caused by genetic mutation within the patient’s body. However, they have found the gene mutation that increases the chance of getting leukemia if you have Down syndrome.
- Leukemia Gene Changes Genetic Packaging: An article explaining how the leukemia gene affects several genes at once. This discovery is changing the treatment plans for leukemia patients.
- Environmental and Genetic Risk Factors for Leukemia: This article explores how both the environment and genes may play a factor in whether or not a person will contract leukemia.
- Genetic Link to Leukemia: This article discusses research that has found genetic links to certain types of leukemia.
- Searching for the Genetics of Leukemia: This article discusses one doctor’s research to find a genetic cause for leukemia.
Leukemia Specific Sites
There are several foundations and organizations dedicated to help people with leukemia. Most of these fund research to help come up with a better cure for leukemia. Some of them offer support to people who have leukemia and their families. Some of the foundations are focused on childhood leukemia, while others fight all forms. Joining a support group or giving to a foundation may help you cope with the diagnosis of yourself or a loved one.
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: Provides information and support for those suffering from leukemia.
- Leukemia from Kidshealth.org: Breaks down leukemia in way that is easy for children to understand.
- Leukemia Research Foundation: Provides information on the research being done to help fight leukemia.
- National Children’s Leukemia Foundation: Provides information and support for parents with children who have leukemia. It also funds leukemia research.
- Childhood Leukemia Foundation: This foundation works to make treatment easier for parents and children. You can sign up to get a wish basket for a child with leukemia.
Causes of Leukemia
Scientists have not been able to determine a specific cause for leukemia. There have been genetic studies, and most types of leukemia are not passed down through families. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) does have a higher hereditary rate than other types of leukemia. There are specific blood disorders that indicate a higher risk of contracting leukemia in the future. Another cause of leukemia may be exposure to radiation or chemicals that cause gene abnormalities.
- Beginning to Discover the Causes of Leukemia: An article reporting what the CDC is doing to discover what triggers leukemia in children.
- Leukemia Causes and Symptoms: A look at some possible causes of leukemia.
- What Causes Cancer in Children?: This explains some factors that may contribute to developing leukemia.
- Researchers Find Gene that Causes Leukemia in Children with Down syndrome: This article looks at the study that found the reason why the rate of leukemia is higher in children with Down syndrome.
- Risk Factors for Leukemia: This article lists risk factors that may increase your chances of contracting leukemia.
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