Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a malign illness that emergesbecause of the proliferation and the accumulation of lymphoblasts (lymphocytes thatdid not reach the mature phase). Prognosis for this illness is much better for childrenthan for the adults, with the healing rate of about 50% (complete recovery).
Factors and symptoms
This malign condition usually starts suddenly. Anemia occurs with different intensity in each case, while in children it usually begins withthe presence of pain in the bones and joints, due to leukemic infiltration in synovialand periost areas, which are parts of the joints and bones). Initial symptoms might beshown because of the leukemia that affected central nervous system. Because ofthe lower number of granulocytes, infection also attacks. Sometimes, severe,necrotic changes in the gum area occur, which might make eating process muchmore difficult. Infections might be viral, bacterial and fungal and their intensity depends on how long granulocytopenia lasts. The lower number ofgranulocytes, the higher risk for lung problems (bronchial pneumonia) andurinary infections. Thrombocytopenia might lead to spontaneous skin bleeding(petechiae and hematomas). Gums might bleed, hematuria or bloodin urine, and nosebleeds are also possible and sometimes there are major inner bleedings in some of the organs. Hightemperature and sweating are also signs of the beginning of this illness.
How to deal with acute lymphocytic leukemia
Treatment is conducted in several stages. First is called theinduction phase, which is done in order to subdue the illness achieved when the entire leukemic mass (the number of abnormal cells) is lowerthan needed to diagnose acute lymphocytic leukemia. When this happens, furthertherapy is continued in order to eliminate those abnormal cells completely andto prevent a possible relapse. Second phase is a consolidation phase, which isall about drug administration. After this stage, therapy that maintains thepresent condition is applied with the help of medications; it might last forcouple of years.Induction treatment is used with the help of Prednisone, vincristineand adriblastina, L-asparaginase and others. Withdrawal of acute lymphocytic leukemia withthe help of treatment happens in about 75% to 85% in a period that lasts forabout 4 weeks.Bone marrow transplantation is a method of completelyeliminating acute lymphocytic leukemia. This method creates a possibility for alonger life after the therapy. Bone marrow must be from a compatible donor, usuallysomeone in the family, brother or sister and there isalso MUD method, when the bone marrow is not from a relative.There is also auto transplantation, when the patient can be adonor for himself or herself, in some of the phases of the acute lymphocyticleukemia.