Kids suffering from Leukemia may exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, fever, night sweats, infections, inability to breathe, pale skin, unintentional weight loss and more.
Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues along with bone marrow and the lymphatic system. It is commonly detected in children. Leukemia happens when the DNA of a single cell in the bone marrow tends to change (mutate) and fails to develop and function the way it is required to. This mutation leads to rapid and uncontrolled growth of abnormal blood cells causing Leukemia. This uncontrolled growth affects the bone marrow, where most of the body’s blood is prepared. Exposure to radiation and chemicals, and even genetic issues are the possible risk factors contributing to the development of this aggressive cancer. Leukemia can be fatal if not treated at the right time.
Signs And Symptoms
It is the need of the hour to understand the symptoms of this cancer. If your child has any of the symptoms below, especially if they’ve had them for more than 2 weeks, it’s time to make an appointment. Kids suffering from Leukemia may exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, fever, night sweats, infections, inability to breathe, pale skin, unintentional weight loss, bone/joint pain or tenderness, pain in the ribs on the left side, swollen lymph nodes in neck, underarm, groin or stomach, an enlarged spleen or liver and easy bruising and bleeding.
The treating oncologist will take the patient’s complete medical history and perform a clinical examination. He/she will also recommend tests such as a complete blood count (CBC), blood cell examination, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, MRI, and a CT scan. Other tests like cytogenetics, FISH or NGS will be required for appropriate treatment decision making.
Treatment is based on the subtype of Leukemia one gets detected with. Other factors like the age, overall well-being, and whether it has spread to other body parts are also considered. The oncologist may consider chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, or a bone marrow transplant for complete treatment of Leukemia.
(Inputs: Dr Adwait Gore, Medical Oncologist, Zen Multispecialty hospital, Chembur Mumbai)