Acute myeloid leukemia, also known as acute myelogenous leukemia or acute myeloblastic leukemia, is a type of cancer of the bone marrow and blood. This type of cancer if not treated earlier can get worse. Early symptoms and signs of acute myeloid leukemia may be the same as those caused by flu or other common diseases. Some of these signs and symptoms may include shortness of breath, easy bruising or bleeding, fever, weakness or feeling tired, loss of appetite and petechiae. Here are are essential details to know about acute myeloid leukemia treatment.
Phases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment
Treatment for acute myeloid leukemia can be categorized into two chemotherapy phases: Remission induction and consolidation. Remission induction, which often called induction , is the initial stage of acute myeloid leukemia treatment. It is done to kill as many leukemia cells in the bone marrow and blood. Remission induction also helps to restore the blood to its normal working condition and treat any symptoms that the patient may have. Consolidation, which is also known as post-remission therapy, is done to prevent the relapsing of cancerous cells, by killing any remaining leukemia cells that be present after the treatment.Apart from the above the two treatments methods discussed above, other major treatments for acute myeloid leukemia include radiotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplants as well as Azacitidine.
Radiotherapy entails the use of high doses of controlled radiation to kill cancerous cells. Radiotherapy is used in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia in order to prepare the body for stem cell or bone marrow transplant and treat any advanced cases that may have spread to the brain or nervous system.
Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant
Bone marrow and stem cells transplants are possible alternative treatment for acute myeloid leukemia if chemotherapy does not work. Before undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplant, the patient must have intensive high dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy to destroy cancerous cells in their bone marrow. Just like chemotherapy medication, the donated stem cells are given via a tube into the blood vessels. After the transplant, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for a few weeks to allow them to heal successfully under the care of their doctor. Transplants are most successful when performed on children, young people and older people who have a good health.
Azacitidine is another possible acute myeloid leukemia treatment for patients who cannot have a stem cell transplant. Azacitidine is a chemotherapy medication that is given by injection under the patient’s skin. It destroys cancerous cells and hinders their growth. Azacitidine also helps the bone marrow to produce normal blood cells.