According to certain reports, Leukemia accounts for approximately 30%- 35% of all the cancer syndromes in children. This cancer affects the blood, bone marrow and depletes the good blood cells. Some research findings also state that Leukemia is considerably more common among children aged below 10. It is essential to remember that Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer among younger kids and affects those aged 2 and 4.
Now, it is quite understandable that such a serious disease can affect your child’s life quite seriously. But before panicking, you must keep in mind that leukemia is treatable. With effective chemotherapy combined occasionally with radiation, beating this deadly syndrome is indeed possible. Here are a few symptoms which you must take note of –
- Joint, leg and back pain
- Headache, dizziness, weakness and lethargy
- Frequent fevers and infections
- Unusual bleeding and susceptibility to bruising
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
Checking for these symptoms before you take your child to the doctor is crucial. This will ensure a quick diagnosis and speedy treatment of the symptoms. After completing the diagnosis, doctors will take requisite blood tests, samples and check for enlarged lymph nodes and liver. Blood tests are crucial for ensuring correct diagnosis. Primary care doctors generally look for the following signs with the blood test –
- Low hemoglobin and platelet count
- Increase in lymphoblasts and lymphocytes
- Low count of normal white blood cells
Along with conducting a regular blood test, it is imperative for the medical specialists to perform a bone marrow test, as well. Apart from chemotherapy and radiation, doctors can also opt certain other treatment procedures. Prescribing immune-suppressing drugs helps in avoiding the rejection of transplanted organs.
Another positive factor is that CT Scans and X-Rays utilize lower radiation levels during the treatment. In recent years, the area of targeted therapy and drugs has been developing rapidly. Such advancements in the medical arena help in depleting the growth of cancerous cells in children.
Before beginning the intensive treatment program, it is important to discuss possible side-effects the pediatric oncologist. If a child is suffering from high-risk leukemia, then combining stem cell transplant with high dosage of chemotherapy is essential.
By diagnosing leukemia symptoms early in children and applying appropriate treatment protocols, enabling the recovery procedure will become easy.