It is very difficult to diagnose leukemia in the initial stages and by the time the doctor comes to know about the disease, it spreads in the entire body. So, in the later stages it becomes very difficult to treat this deadly disease.
Hence, it is very significant to know about the signs and symptoms of leukemia and control it in the early stage. The symptoms of leukemia differ from person to person depending upon the type of leukemia any person has. Leukemia can be classified into two main types: chronic leukemia and acute leukemia. Both the types show distinct symptoms.
Any person suffers from leukemia when the blood cells present in the body get infected and do not function properly. Acute leukemia is caused when there are very little RBCs or red blood corpuscles present in the body. The diseases can also be caused due to many abnormal WBCs or white blood cells in the body.
Many times Down syndrome, family history, identical twins, congenital disorders and exposure to some toxic chemicals is responsible for causing leukemia.
Some of the common signs of leukemia include:
- Pale color of the body
- Bleeding from gums or nose
- Pain in the joints
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Balance problems
- Brain headaches
- Confusion in taking any decision
- Enlarged spleen
- Sore throat
However, acute leukemia spreads faster in the body than chronic leukemia but it can be diagnosed easily because the person gets sick quickly. On the other hand it is harder to diagnose chronic leukemia at an early stage as there are no visible symptoms initially. So, whenever you feel sick and weak it is better to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The doctor conducts various tests to determine what kind of disease the person has. If the person is diagnosed with leukemia then various other tests are done to decide the kind of treatment that will be the best to control the problem.
The bone marrow and lymph nodes must be examined properly. Blood samples also help in accurate diagnosis of the disease. In addition, study and physical examination of cerebral spinal cord fluid also confirms about leukemia. X-rays and CT scans are also done to confirm the disease.
Acute leukemia could be treated by doing platelet or blood transfusions, radiation and anticancer medication treatments. Sometimes, bone marrow transplant is also required in the later stages. Doctors might also recommend cortisone pain relievers and drugs except aspirin to the patient. Chemotherapy is the best solution for leukemia. This therapy increases the survival rate of the infected person.
Acute leukemia is a type of cancer that can affect both adults and children. Although, effective treatments are possible for the disease but a patient requires regular check-ups and follow-ups to the doctor so as to ensure that the disease has not returned and spread in the body again.