How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

How Successful is Leukemia Treatment is an article that aims to give you all the information you do not know about leukemia and its treatment. We kindly shared the main headings with you;

What is leukemia?

Leukemia is a cancer in which blood cells and bone marrow are affected. Blood cells and bone marrow are blood-forming tissues. It usually involves the white blood cells which fight potent infections. White blood cells grow and divide in an orderly way, as your body needs them. However, an excessive amount of white blood cells are produced in leukemia that do not work correctly.Invest in your health, invest in a brighter future. Our comprehensive medical programs deliver real results, while you indulge in the beauty and serenity of our destination.

How to classify leukemia?

Leukemia is usually classified according to the speed of progression and the types of cells involved.

According to their speed, leukemia can be classified as follows:

Acute leukemia

In acute leukemia, immature blood cells, known as blasts, are abnormal and can not function properly. They divide very fast. Thus, the disease spreads very quickly.

Chronic leukemia

There is more than one type of chronic leukemia. In some types, too many cells are produced, while in some types, very few cells are produced. Chronic leukemia involves more-mature blood cells meaning that blood cells divide very slowly and they can function normally for a while. Some types of chronic leukemia cause no early symptoms, so it can be overlooked and not be diagnosed for a long time.

According to the white blood cell type affected, leukemia can be classified as follows:

Lymphocytic leukemias

Lymphoid cells are affected by this type. They form lymphatic tissue that makes up the immune system.

Myelogenous leukemia

Myeloid cells are affected in this type, giving rise to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelet-producing cells. Read more to know about How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

What are the types of leukemia?

Below you can find the major types of leukemia,

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is the most common type of leukemia among young children, but it can also occur in adults.

Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)

Acute myelogenous leukemia is a common type. It can occur both in children and adults. It is the most common type of acute leukemia that happens in adults.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the most common chronic adult leukemia. Patients can feel well for a long time without needing treatment.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

Chronic myelogenous leukemia primarily affects adults. Patients may have no symptoms for years until leukemia cells start to grow more quickly.

How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

What are the risk factors for developing leukemia?

There are some factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing leukemia. These are:

  • Previous cancer treatment

People who had prior chemotherapy and radiation are more prone to have leukemia.

  • Genetic disorders

Certain genetic abnormalities, like Down syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of leukemia.

  • Exposure to certain chemicals

Chemicals like benzene, found in gasoline, are associated with an increased risk of leukemia.

  • Smoking
  • Family history

Suppose there is a history of leukemia within the family, your risk of leukemia increases.

Considering these things, it does not mean a person with these risk factors will undoubtedly have leukemia. Still, they should be careful and regularly have a check-up to avoid leukemia. Read more to know about How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

What are the symptoms of leukemia?

Common symptoms of leukemia include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Recurring nosebleed
  • Red spots on the skin
  • Bone pain
  • Loss of appetite

What are the causes of leukemia?

There is no specific cause of leukemia. It appears to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but the exact way has yet to be discovered. To learn how successful is leukemia treatment, please keep on reading.

How does leukemia happen?

Although the exact way is not known, leukemia generally occurs when some blood cells acquire mutations in their DNA. DNA is the genetic material that instructs the cell on what to do and when to divide. These mutations alter the cell’s growth and division. Altered growth and division lead to uncontrolled blood cell production. Over time, abnormal white cells become more than healthy white cells causing signs and symptoms of leukemia. Read more to know about How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

How is staging done?

Standard methods are not used to stage leukemia. Instead, a doctor will first determine the subtype of leukemia via diagnostic tests and then use a unique system for each subtype.

For example, the French-American-British system is used in order to stage acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). This system gives a result including the number of healthy blood cells, the size and number of leukemia cells, changes in the chromosomes of the leukemia cells, and other genetic changes.

For chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the Rai system is used for staging. This system considers the number of lymphocytes in the blood, enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, or liver, and presence of anemia.

Lastly, the number of diseased cells present in the blood tests is used in the staging of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

What is the survival rate by age?

The success of leukemia treatment varies with age. The latest researches say that the survival rate for all leukemia types is 65.7%. Of course, the survival rate is higher in younger people. According to the National Cancer Institute, the percentage of deaths by age group are as follows:

Age group % of deaths
Under 20 2.0
20-34 2.4
35-44 2.3
45-54 4.8
55-64 12.1
65-74 23.9
75-84 30.0
>84 22.6

What affects the survival rate?

A variety of factors affect success of leukemia treatment, thus, a person’s survival rate, such as:

  • Age
  • Time of diagnosis
  • Progression and spread of cancer
  • Type of leukemia
  • The family history
  • The amount of bone damage
  • Chromosome mutations
  • The body’s response to treatment
  • Blood cell count
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use

How is leukemia diagnosed and screened?

First, the patient’s medical history and physical examination are done to see the person’s general health condition. Then, blood and bone marrow samples will be taken to understand the signs of leukemia cells. After a blood count test, the amount of different blood cell types will be observed, which will help diagnose leukemia.

Later, a spinal tap is done in which it is understood whether the cancer has spread to the brain or the spinal cord or not. Also, a cytochemistry test will be conducted. This test dyes cells with special stains and is specific to types of leukemia cells.

After these steps, a cytochemistry test will be conducted to determine the type of leukemia, and immunophenotyping is done in which different blood cells are attached to different antigens. Immunophenotyping helps with classifying the type of leukemia the patient has.

Lastly, a chromosome test will check the changes that happened on chromosomes of the myeloid cells, and imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, or MRI scans, will be carried out in order to check if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

Can leukemia be cured?

There is currently no cure for leukemia. Cancer can even recur after diagnosis and treatment if there are still some cells remaining in the body. The exact outlook depends on the type of leukemia, the stage of the disease, and the age. To learn more about the treatment types, please read further.

What is the treatment for leukemia?

  • Chemotherapy is the traditional way of treatment for leukemia. It uses anti-cancer drugs to kill the cancer cells. A patient can receive one drug or a combination of drugs.
  • Stem cell transplants can also be used with chemotherapy, especially in children. It is done after an intensive round of high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy. With this transfer, hematopoietic stem cells are transferred into the bone marrow, where new blood cells can grow from them. There are two types of stem cell transplants which are allogenic, in which a donor’s stem cells are used, and autologous, in which a patient’s own stem cells are used.
  • Radiation therapy is another method of treatment. It aims high energy waves at the cancerous cells in order to kill or shrink them. It is used for leukemia that has spread to other body parts and before a stem cell transplant.
  • Nowadays, newer treatments such as immunotherapy and targeted therapies can be used for certain types of leukemia.

Still, to this day, there is some ongoing research for a treatment that will treat leukemia without any reoccurrence.

What are the specific treatments for leukemia types?

Each type of leukemia has a specific way of treatment.

Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)

AML progresses quickly. It is treated with either chemotherapy or radiation therapy to rapidly destroy cancer cells. For earlier stages of AML, some targeted therapies have emerged, such as, enasidenib, ivosidenib, venetoclax and so on.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

CML is a slower-growing version of AML. Most patients with CML have a specific chromosome alteration called the Philadelphia chromosome, which produces an abnormal protein that leads to the growth of leukemia cells. Targeted therapies like imatinib, nilotinib, and dasatinib try to block this abnormal protein.

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

ALL is mostly seen in children, and it makes up the majority of childhood cancers. Early treatment may be successful, and its spread is rapid. Chemotherapy and stem cell transplants can be used among children. Still, they carry many risks and side effects in aging patients. Thus, scientists are searching for other treatments.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is a relatively new type of immunotherapy that can be used in children. Our body already has T-cells, but they do not work properly in cancer patients. With this therapy, T-cells are removed and genetically modified with receptors so they can work better.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

The main treatments for CLL are targeted medicines and chemotherapy.

How is leukemia treated in Turkey?

The treatment of leukemia is very delicate in Turkey. It aims to eradicate leukemia cells without affecting other healthy cells. As mentioned above, treatment is based on age, state, and type of cancer. Thus, several techniques are used. Some examples are chemotherapy, and the two types of chemotherapy that are used are intensive chemotherapy and non-intensive chemotherapy. Another method is a bone marrow transplant. Patients can receive bone marrow transplants after going through chemotherapy treatment. The purpose of the transplant is to allow bone marrow to reform so that it can create healthy blood cells. However, bone marrow transplant in Turkey is done for patients above 55 years old. Other additional treatments include radiotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and supportive treatment.

There are also some treatments for chemotherapy side effects which can include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, and loss of appetite. To deal with these side effects, some medications are available.

Turkey has one of the best oncologists, clinics, and hospitals that will offer the patient the best care and affordable cost. To determine the price of your treatment , you can use the below cost calculator. Check our other articles to find out How Successful is Leukemia Treatment

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