Leukemia is the worst nightmare that a child can have. It’s a cancer of the blood. Your child can be died by that disease. Every year a lot of children is diagnosed with that disease. Children from poor background, it’s very tough to handle this as the treatment of this disease is so costly.
In this article, we will try to know about leukemia and ways to handle this. Let’s get started.
Leukemia is a life-threatening disease which causes death to most of the children; Image source: futureofwellfamily.com
What is leukemia?
As we have said earlier, leukemia is a cancer of the blood. Firstly, you need to know the constituents, that build up the blood and from where they are created. Most of the blood is created in our bone marrow. Bone marrow is the factory from where the constituent of blood is created.
If any problem appears that can cause abnormality in the production of blood from bone marrow, then the leukemia results. In leukemia, Bone marrow produces immature white blood cells in a larger amount. These immature cells don’t do the exact function.
when these are in the blood, this also affects the production of other blood cells like RBC and Platelet, which are responsible for transferring oxygen to the cells and clotting the blood after bleeding. The function of WBC is to protect ourselves from infection. As there are immature WBC, so chances of the infection get higher.
Bleeding beneath the skin, which results in the red spot; image source: abcnews.com
What causes leukemia?
Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact reason what causes leukemia. Researchers claim that mutations in the genes of the bone marrow cells can cause this deformity. Some also claim that overexposure to the high amount of radiation can cause this life-threatening condition. Having an inherited condition that can affect the body immune system can also cause this condition. If a child has a brother or a sister who has this type of disease, chances that this disease is also present to the child are more.
Sign and symptoms
If your baby has leukemia he or she will present these following symptoms:
As we have said earlier that a leukemia patient has a low level of platelet in their blood so they are more susceptible to bleed normally. You may have found more red spots beneath his skin as simple rupture of tiny blood vessels happens there.
Your baby may feel an ache in his belly. He can also feel poor appetite and nausea.
Enlarged abdominal organ
It is the most common symptoms. His abdominal organs may have been enlarged. This could be his spleen, liver. Most of the time, the spleen is enlarged. This happens because the bone marrow cells infiltrate into those organs.
Most common sign and symptoms of leukemia; Image source: medicalmarijuanince.com
Your baby may be anemic because of having a lower level of RBC. the main function of RBC is to carry oxygen to the cells. If there are no oxygens in the cell, then the patient may feel tired.
As the patient has immature WBC in his blood, there are more chances to have an infection of the patient because the main function of the WBC is to protect ourselves from infection.
Joint pain: Bone and joint pain can be seen because of the infiltration of the cells.
The main diagnosis can be done through the following procedures:
- Bone marrow aspiration biopsy
- Lymph node biopsy
- lumbar puncture
- Complete blood count
A young boy with a shaved head is getting chemotherapy as he battles with cancer; image source: istockphoto.com
The primary treatment should be to control any immediate complications. As the patient is anemic, so they need to be transfuse3d by blood. As they have immatured WBC, so they are more susceptible to infection. For controlling the infections we need to give them proper antibiotics. Leukemia patient needs more blood. So management of the blood all-time when needed is mandatory.
Further, we need to give them chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy. Sometimes, stem cell transplantation is also required. If there are any enlarged organ that is causing severe problem to the child, sometimes we need to cut the organ for the safety of the patient.
Proper counseling and the early diagnosis of that condition can also help your child to live a happy life in the future.