When you were first diagnosed with myeloid leukemia, you probably never dreamed that the condition would continuously come back. However, chronic myeloid leukemia, though relatively rare, does exist and can be quite frustrating to anyone attempting to treat and eradicate their cancer once and for all. There are various treatments currently in development and in use for chronic myeloid leukemia that can be of great benefit to you. All that's left to do is learn what those treatments are and get in contact with your oncologist to get started.
Chemotherapy is one of the most commonly used forms of treatment for virtually any form of cancer, including chronic myeloid leukemia. Chemotherapy consists of a person being administered a combination of different drugs into the bloodstream that are designed to kill cancer cells and stop the spread and the growth of cancer in the body. Oftentimes, chemotherapy is administered intravenously though it may be taken in pill form as well.
Because chemotherapy in a person with chronic myeloid leukemia may dramatically reduce a patient's white blood cell count, infection prevention and keeping up on blood counts is very important. As such, some oncologists may wish for a person to remain in the hospital for inpatient chemotherapy, though this is not always necessary.
Sometimes chemotherapy may be administered in high doses and paired with stem cell transplants in order to kill off aggressive cancer while ensuring that a person's healthy blood cells and bone marrow are not completely depleted by the chemotherapy. After chemotherapy is administered, the patient will then receive a transfusion of the stem cells through a chest tube (a catheter that runs directly into the chest). This process ensures that blood cells replenish in the body.
Molecularly Targeted Therapy
New drugs have recently been developed in the treatment of cancer in general, with specific applications for chronic myeloid leukemia. These new drugs are designed differently than chemotherapy drugs.
The major problem with chemotherapy is that the drugs used in this treatment do not just kill cancer cells but healthy cells in the body as well. These molecularly targeted therapy drugs, on the other hand, will only kill cancer cells. This helps to keep a person going through cancer treatment healthier overall and shows promise to be highly effective at treating chronic myeloid leukemia. The drug has gone through clinical trials and is being considered for widespread use for this form of cancer by the FDA.
Contact your oncologist or a professional like those at Sturdy Memorial Hospital as soon as possible to discuss these and other options to help you deal with your chronic myeloid leukemia. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can get to feeling healthy once more.