Complications associated with leukemia treatment

Complications associated with leukemia treatment

Leukemia is considered to be among the most fatal of cancers. Most of the issues and challenges about this condition related to the depletion of the normal blood cells of the body, an aspect that can have a ripple effect in damaging various other organs of the body. The different leukemia treatment options can have multiple side-effects as well. Here is a detailed note on the different complications that are associated with treating a type of cancer.

What are the complications of leukemia treatment?
Leukemia treatment is done by following the standard cancer treatment therapies of radiation and chemotherapy along with stem cell transplant when necessary. However, it has been observed that leukemia can also occur in people who have received radiation for treating other cancers. So, there is a good possibility that standard cancer treatment therapies can have a negative impact too. Frequent infections, excessive bleeding and graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) in case of stem cell transplant are seen as common side effects of the different treatment methods of leukemia.

Some complications related to leukemia treatment are linked to specific types of leukemia. For instance, in case of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), it has been observed that in about 3 to 5% of cases, the condition worsens with the cells transforming into an aggressive lymphoma. Even after receiving leukemia CLL treatments, many patients with this condition tend to develop second cancer or other types of blood disorders. Chronic myeloid leukemia treatments are known to cause complications such as drastic weight loss and anemia.

The prognosis of leukemia depends largely on its type as well as the age of the person. Typically, the survival rate is higher in children with some of the treatments showing a higher success rate. However, even in such cases, an expected survival rate extends to 5 years. As far as the recurrence is concerned, this is again based on the type of leukemia, with a general perception that once adequately treated, there is a little chance of a recurrence.

There is no denying the fact that leukemia is a dreadful condition. While any form of cancer can be intimidating, the fact that there are no known ways to prevent leukemia makes it one of the most feared types of cancers.