Infantile Leukemia – Fight for Life

A disease considered rare and that has an inevitable impact on parents and family. Childhood leukemia has been affecting about 1 in 600 children until they are 15 years old. Thanks to the advancement of medicine, 80% currently achieve a cure after treatment or have an extended life for a few more years. Childhood leukemia is diagnosed as cancer in white blood cells . It starts from the bone marrow and spreads throughout the bloodstream. From there you can reach other parts of the body such as spleen, liver, lymph nodes and the entire central nervous system in addition to the other organs.

The bone marrow is responsible for the production of the entire blood cell, red and white blood cells and platelets and is located inside the bones. They are composed of stem cells, fat cells and tissues that act in the development of blood cells.

Child with leukemia in medical consultation

Symptoms start to appear due to a  decrease in red and white blood cells and platelets. These changes are detected through the blood test. With its cause still unknown, research shows that childhood leukemia as well as other types of cancer is caused by changes in DNA that are possibly inherited by a parent.

Some hereditary diseases are pointed out as an auto risk of developing leukemia, but they cannot yet be proven and are suggested by researches that are caused by genetic and environmental factors . Childhood leukemia is divided into two types, the fast-progressing one which is acute and the slow – progressing one which is chronic. The most common being acute, which originates in the lymphoid cells of the spinal cord or directly in the cells responsible for the production of red, white blood cells and platelets.

Symptoms and Treatment of Childhood Leukemia

As there is no way to prevent and prevent leukemia, let alone detect the disease early, the only way is to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The alert should be further increased with children who suffer from some type of genetic disease, who have recently had a transplant or who need treatment with immunosuppressants.

Through regular blood tests requested by the pediatrician whenever necessary, it is possible to check the count of each type of blood cells. If any type of change is found, referral to a specialist is required. The main symptoms of childhood leukemia are:

  • Fever – It is common to have a fever caused by infections that cannot be fought even with the use of antibiotics, due to the low production of white blood cells responsible for helping to fight infections. It can also occur due to leukemic cells that release debris in the body that cause fever.
  • Excessive pallor and tiredness – One of the symptoms of childhood leukemia is anemia, which causes dizziness, tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath and pale skin.
  • Pain in the joints and bones – It is a not so common symptom, but reported in several cases. Due to the agglomeration of leukemic cells in the joints, pain and tenderness in the region are presented.
  • Decreased Appetite – Normally leukemic cells usually lodge in the liver and spleen causing an apparent swelling. They can be noticed through medical palpation. Due to this swelling of the spleen, the stomach is pressured limiting the digestion of food which will gradually cause weight loss.
  • Headaches and vomiting – As leukemic cells can spread through the central nervous system, go to the heart, intestine, testicles, kidneys and lungs, symptoms such as seizures, weaknesses, vomiting, blurred vision and severe headaches can occur.

Coughs, breathing problems, skin rashes and oral problems, especially in the gum area, may also occur. All due to the spread of the leukemic cells to different regions of the body.

The treatment when started must be followed by several steps. In principle, several precautions should be taken, such as controlling the lack of white blood cells that can cause very serious infections , since low platelet levels can cause bleeding and the reduction of red blood cell levels and decrease the amount of oxygen needed by the heart and brain.

Therefore, a treatment must be initiated to combat these problems that can be generated by the low levels of cells. Platelet and red blood cell transfusions and the use of antibiotics may be the first step in treatment. Usually the treatment follows the combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy , which work together to fight sick cells. Chemotherapy, which is the main form of treatment for childhood leukemia, aims to control the disease and its symptoms, and it is possible to return normal cell levels.

Treatment is carried out in cycles , to allow the child’s body time to recover from medications that are so aggressive. The average time of treatment and use of chemotherapy drugs is two years. Nowadays we can rejoice with the results that each day become more positive to treatments against childhood leukemia and cancer in general. The evolution of medicine has provided us with greater chances of cure, treatment and total restoration of the patient’s health.

See also:  Child Diabetes – How to Discover and Deal with It?

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother. Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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