Radiation therapy is used in a number of cancers as both the main method of killing cancer cells or in combination with surgery (either before or after). The radiation comes in the form of high-energy x-rays that are delivered to the patient only in the areas at highest risk for cancer. These x-rays are similar to those used for diagnostic x-rays, only of a much higher energy. The high-energy of x-rays in radiation therapy results in damage to the DNA of cells, causing tumor cells to die. Continue reading →
Leukemia is rarely associated with pregnancy, affecting only about 1 in 10,000 pregnant women. How it is handled depends primarily on the type of leukemia. Acute leukemias normally require prompt, aggressive treatment, despite significant risks of pregnancy loss and birth defects, especially if chemotherapy is given during the developmentally sensitive first trimester. Continue reading →
The earlier acute lymphocytic leukemia is detected, the more effective the treatment. The aim is to induce a lasting remission,
defined as the absence of detectable cancer cells in the body (usually less than 5% blast cells on the bone marrow).
Treatment for acute leukemia can include chemotherapy, steroids, radiation therapy, intensive combined treatments
(including bone marrow or stem cell transplants), and growth factors. Continue reading →