- Symptoms of childhood leukemia
- Common signs of leukemia in children
- What tests are done for childhood leukemia?
- How is leukemia treated in children?
- Chronic form of leukemia
Leukemia is one of oncological diseases. The disease is often called leukemia, blood cancer, a brain tumor or proteinosis.
When the development of this disease occurs, healthy blood cells are replaced by immature ones, so there is an imbalance between the different cells. After that, the white blood cells do not perform the main function – the body’s defense. Because of leukemia, any infection, even minor, can be fatal to the body.
Symptoms of childhood leukemia
The first symptoms in children appear about two to five years ago. If you notice the development of the disease in the first stage, you can cure it, but it is difficult. And in the next phase there are no chances of a cure. Society is developing and medicine is not standing still, but medicine for leukemia has not yet been invented.
There are two forms of leukemia: acute and chronic. In the first case, the child’s condition is very dangerous and usually not for a long time.
The lifespan for acute leukemia is from half a month to five months. At this point, there is no erythrocyte formation in the child’s blood, so all vessels are clogged with white leukocytes.
Blood cancer often occurs quickly in children and is accompanied by symptoms such as sore throat, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, bruising without cause, frequent headaches and pale skin. In the modern world, children very often suffer from leukemia, almost every third child, with oncological diseases, blood leukemia is sick.
The second form of leukemia can last from about a year to two years. This is because the pathology is developing much more slowly. There are cases where the disease was discovered accidentally. I examine the body for other reasons. Most often, this form of leukemia is already sick to adults, but there are cases of illness and children, and this is about 3% of all patients with leukemia.
Because of the reduced immunity, viruses can develop very quickly in the child’s body. With chronic form, the disease can fluctuate constantly, have a critical condition over a period of time and then simply subside. But that doesn’t mean the disease is over. With a chronic form of leukemia, the child constantly feels tired, has no appetite, increases body temperature and sweats and reduces weight.
Common symptoms of leukemia in children
At the time of the spread of unwanted blood cells, such symptoms manifest:
- there is a lack of platelets in the blood, which in turn leads to bleeding from the nose or from places of pinpricks.
- A drop in hemoglobin in the blood leads to anemia, muscle pain, dry skin, drowsiness and weakness.
- Decreased immunity makes the child more susceptible to various infections.
- In a critical state, the movement of metastases on the body begins. The most dangerous to health is when the metastases are in the brain. In this case, the tumor begins to grow in size and press on the skull, resulting in poor visibility and weakness. If the metastases are in other organs, they inhibit their work.
- Bone pain occurs due to the same cause. When the tumor begins to grow in size, it presses on the bones, causing calcium to spread hard and the bones to become brittle.
- Lymphonoduses increases due to the fact that they blast inside and are a function of the filter element to collect. Spoiled cells settle in the lymph nodes so that they increase.
- The liver can grow – it occurs in the myeloblastic form of leukemia. If you don’t diagnose the disease, it can hit your neck, causing shortness of breath.
Acute leukemia develops quickly, so the number of leukocytes in the blood increases immediately. Children found form of blood cancer in the form of lymphoblastic leukemia. When lymphoblastic leukemia, infected cells are distributed in the lymph nodes or in the bone marrow.
There is another type of acute form of leukemia – granulocyte leukemia, but the disease affects adults. Scientists have not found out why leukemia exists, but have factors that contribute to its development:
- Effects of chemicals and radiation on the body.
- Impaired immunity.
- Genetic disorders.
When the cells are mature, they go through several stages, one of which is an explosion, which is why the name lymphoblastic leukemia occurs. However, if there is a tumor in the bone marrow, the lymphocytes cannot develop normally. Lymphocytes cannot have a protective function.
The main symptoms of diseases are:
- weight loss.
- Pale skin.
- A feeling of broken bones all over the body.
- The boy can have testicles.
- Increased body temperature.
Acute form of leukemia is more common in children than chronic. According to statistics, boys suffer from leukemia more often than girls. No less dangerous is lymphoblastic leukemia and for people who have previously been treated with chemotherapy or radiation.
Before the development of the acute form of leukemia, a preleukaemic phase begins that shows no developmental symptoms. After this stage, an acute form begins to develop that already shows all the signs of leukemia. Remission can occur during treatment, which can be replaced by relapse. If the treatment is successful, no relapses are observed.
Every body is unique, so the symptoms of the disease can be different for each child and a better way to spend a full diagnosis in a specialized clinic. If the remission continues for five years after the treatment, it can be assumed with certainty that the disease has healed. But when the child is sick again, the likelihood of full recovery is significantly reduced. The acute form of blood cancer can be cured very strongly and unexpectedly, not only for relatives, but also for doctors.
What tests are performed in children with leukemia?
First you have to show the child to the pediatrician. If a pediatrician is suspected of having cancer of the blood, he makes a referral to the oncoematologist.
In order to diagnose the disease you need to pass the bone marrow exam and pass blood, but other than that necessary to pass more tests, such as:
- Bone marrow smear – this analysis is the most important and accurate to determine for the presence of leukemia. The doctor should pierce a child’s bone and take a material that is then used for analysis.
- Swab from the spinal cord – this analysis to determine the presence of tumors because the baby’s metastases grow in the brain.
- In an acute form of blood cancer in children, a cytochemical test is carried out.
- A myelogram is performed to determine the cell shape in the bone marrow. If the tests showed that blasts in the blood are 30% higher than normal, it means that the child has leukemia.
- A cytogenetic analysis is performed to determine chromosomal abnormalities. With the help of this analysis, doctors can predict the course of the disease.
- necessary to perform a complete blood analysis, which indicates the presence of pathology increases the number of leukocytes and other components that decreased.
- necessary to do a biopsy of the lymph nodes that
- raised you above that investigation do not forget other organs that are very weak at the time of the disease. Therefore, doctors recommend performing ultrasound scans of the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs.
- A general urine analysis is done to examine the amount of uric acid salts obtained when the tumor decays.
- To determine where the metastases are in the child’s body, you need to undergo a CT scan.
- And the last study is magnetic resonance imaging. Very powerful radio waves and magnets are used for this diagnosis. With MRI you can determine in which part of the body the pathological process develops. Contrast agents are used to make the result more effective. This test method is necessary if other diagnostic methods have no result, e.g. B. when examining the brain and spinal cord.
How is leukemia treated in children?
The main goal in the treatment of leukemia is the destruction of all pathological cells. This can be achieved with:
- Implementation of standard chemotherapy. Such a method will help keep the disease in remission.
- Reception of toxic drugs that help reduce intoxication of the child’s entire body.
- Anemia should be replaced with replacement therapy.
- Bone marrow transplant and stem cells using donor materials. This method helps to increase immunity.
In acute forms of leukemia in children, it is necessary to carry out complex therapy that provokes complications in the form of otitis or stomatitis. During this time, the child is very susceptible to infection, so it is better to place it in a separate room and make sure that it is constantly wearing a bandage that covers all respiratory organs.
Treating blood cancer in children is long and difficult, so parents need strength and patience to communicate well with the build medical personnel and of course direct all energy and energy for a remission.
Antibiotics used to treat a child kill both sick and healthy cells. Therefore, you have to follow certain rules for prevention:
- The child should be in a clean room with no strangers.
- It is recommended to use more water. It helps to remove all decaying substances from the body.
- A child’s food should be healthy and correct.
- Once you have discovered the first signs of the disease, you need to she with start taking antibiotics because the child’s body cannot cope with such a disease.
- In the first stages you need sulfonam > Chronic form of leukemia
The chronic form of leukemia also requires complex treatment. However, leukemia is at risk of becoming acute, which complicates the condition and treatment.
To destroy cancer cells, use radiation and chemical therapy while the living cells remain intact. It is possible, as in the acute form, to use donor material that can save a child’s life. In this form too, everything depends on the treatment, because the right treatment can lead to remission.
In the case of a chronic form of blood cancer, there was an acute need to use polychemotherapy. You need to take vincristine and prednisolone at the same time. In most cases, the preparations help the child to reach the stage of remission. But if remission occurs, therapy should not be stopped, so doctors recommend taking methotrexate and mercaptopurine.
To avoid developing a dangerous disease, you need to contact specialists with minimal suspicion of blood cancer. Do not forget that the life of the child depends on you and on the professional skills of the chosen doctor and the clinic.
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