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Webmaster | 16. February 2009 @ 13:00

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. There are two types of leukemia, chronic and acute, which are treated differently and have different symptoms. Acute leukemia rapidly progresses and needs immediate, aggressive treatment. Chronic leukemia can take months or years to show symptoms and may not need immediate treatment but will require ongoing monitoring.

Chemotherapy utilizes chemicals to treat the cancer. It causes many side effects such as hair loss, nausea and decline of the immune system. The complete course of therapy can be from two to five years including maintenance. This is the most common form of treatment for leukemia with the desired result being total remission. Even without symptoms, ongoing monitoring must occur to guard against relapse.

Radiation therapy is another form of treatment. It is painless and in low doses causes very few side effects. Where the radiation is concentrated and the exposure levels will determine the side effects, if any, and the severity of them. Damage to the skin, swelling and infertility are among the possible side effects.

A bone marrow transplant is an effective way to prolong the life of cancer patients. It is, however, a risky surgery and requires a donor which can be difficult in attaining. These surgeries should be performed at state of the art hospitals specializing in cancer treatment. This surgery has a high mortality rate and is therefore used only in life threatening cases.

Immunotherapy is a means to stimulate the immune system so the body can attack the cancer cells. This type of treatment is still in its early stages and continually under development. It is believed that this type of treatment may prove less harmful than chemotherapy or radiation therapy and may someday supplant these treatments as a method for treating cancer.

Long term effects of leukemia treatments may cause anemia. This side effect can be treated by blood transfusions or platelet transfusions. There are risks with transfusions but it is believed transfusions will help reduce the threat of additional complications such as heart attacks. Doses of antibiotics are also generally prescribed to leukemia patients to help counteract the danger of infection cause by declined immune system or treatment side effects.

There are currently almost 200,000 people in the United States diagnosed with leukemia and an estimated 35,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. It is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 20. There are many treatment facilities throughout the United States specializing in cancer treatment. Early diagnosis, aggressive treatment, and monitoring will help prolong life and increase chances of a person going into remission.

About The Author: Gray Rollins is a featured writer for http://www.leukemiaclinical.com. To learn more about leukemia, visit http://www.leukemiaclinical.com/acutemyeloidleukemia/.

HT ~ Cancer :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 4. January 2009 @ 13:00

Several lung cancer treatments are currently available and the determination as to which one is prescribed depends on the lung cancer stage that has been diagnosed, the location of the cancer, and the patientís health. The most common treatments for lung cancer include Surgery, Radiation, Chemotherapy, and Targeted Therapy.

Surgery

Surgery involves cutting away a cancerous tumor and a portion of the tissue that has surrounded the tumor. Sometimes the surgical treatment involves removal of the entire affected lung. Surgery is often effective, but recovery time can be long. Because the surgeon will have to cut through the rib cage to get to the lungs, there will be pain and bed rest for one to two months after the procedure.

In addition to traditional surgical methods, other types of surgical procedures can be used depending on the location of the tumor and also the patientís physical condition. A craniotomy, which is basically surgery performed through a hole made to the skull can be prescribed to tumors located in the brain. For small tumors, a procedure whereby a video camera is inserted into a tiny incision helps the surgeon zero in on a tumor. Because the incision is small, pain is generally reduced.

Radiation

Radiation can either be used by itself or in conjunction with a surgical procedure. Radiation can be beamed directly at the cancerous tumor from the outside of the body using a laser, or radiation can be delivered directly to the tumor via a small pellet. When a patientís overall state of health is poor, radiation is a better alternative than undergoing a surgical procedure. In cases where surgery has been performed, radiation might also be prescribed as a way to remove the cancerous cells that for whatever reason could not be surgically removed. Radiation to remove brain tumors can result in changing the brainís functionality later on, but may be the only option.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is actually a drug that works to remove cancer by way of the bloodstream. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken either orally or administered via an injection into a vein. Because the bloodstream can carry the drug throughout the body, Chemotherapy is often the preferred treatment when lung cancer has spread well beyond the lungs. One problem associated with chemotherapy is that it can also cause damage to healthy cells and the cells that produce blood that reside within the bone marrow. Low blood counts can lead to a number of different problems so Chemotherapy treatment must be closely monitored.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted Therapy is a relatively new treatment option that does show promise. Instead of focusing on destroying damaged cells (which can also damage healthy cells), these drugs instead are designed to interfere with a cancerous cellís ability to grow. Right now, Targeted Therapy drugs are given to patients only after other treatment options have been attempted. And unfortunately, Targeted Therapy has not been effective for all patients.

Each lung cancer treatment option has benefits, risks and frequently, side effects. Deciding which option is best is something that only a doctor and patient can determine.

About The Author: Gray Rollins is a featured writer for http://www.lifelungcancer.com. To learn more about lung cancer treatments, visit http://www.lifelungcancer.com/.

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