Leukemia Diagnosis and Treatment in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey
Unlike other cancers that affect one area, leukemia moves throughout the body by producing abnormal blood cells. Leukemia begins in the bone marrow and lymph nodes. From there, the cancer circulates throughout the body via the bloodstream, making swift, effective treatment imperative.
Regional Cancer Care Associates serves patients throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, offering accurate diagnoses and the most advanced treatments available, so patients can manage their illness and continue to lead fulfilling lives.
What Are The Risk Factors and Causes of Leukemia?
Many people in the United States have at least one risk factor that increases their chances of developing leukemia. The most common risk factors include:
- Smoking or exposure to smoking
- Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Some genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome
- Exposure to chemicals, such as benzene
- Previous blood disorders
By receiving regular screenings from physicians and moderating common controllable risk factors, such as smoking or chemical exposure, high-risk individuals can decrease their likelihood of developing leukemia or can catch the disease early for the best possible outcome.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Leukemia?
Effective leukemia treatment depends on identifying and diagnosing the illness as early as possible. In many cases, doctors notice abnormalities in a blood test long before symptoms appear. The following major symptoms, however, can alert patients and physicians to a problem:
- Bruising and bleeding easily
- Weakened immune system, leading to frequent infections and illnesses
- Symptoms of anemia, including:
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, a physician can screen for leukemia by administering a simple blood test. The doctor will then track the disorder’s progression by measuring the white blood cell or platelet count, examining for bone damage, and checking the liver and spleen for signs of enlargement. If cancer is present, these factors can help the doctor identify how far it has spread.
Types of Leukemia
Leukemia comes in several types, differentiated by where they originate and how quickly they spread:
- Myeloid leukemia begins in the bone marrow and prevents new white blood cells from fully maturing, resulting in immature cells that cannot stop infections. Acute myeloid leukemia spreads quickly, while chronic myeloid leukemia spreads slowly but with occasional periods of rapid growth.
- Lymphocytic leukemia begins in the lymph nodes, another place where blood cells are made, and replaces healthy white blood cells with abnormal ones. Acute lymphocytic leukemia is most common in children younger than age 15 and is fast-growing. By contrast, chronic lymphocytic leukemia spreads slowly and can exist for years before symptoms manifest.
If you or a loved one has leukemia, it’s important to discuss treatment options with your doctor. No two cases are alike, and effective treatment requires a personalized plan that takes individual needs and situations into account. The final treatment plan may use one or more of the following modalities:
Fight Leukemia with Regional Cancer Care Associates
All Regional Cancer Care Associates locations across Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide the latest, most comprehensive treatments available. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.