Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment
Hearing the words chronic myeloid leukemia treatment may have you reeling, and it's understandable--having blood cancer is definitely something not to take lightly. Fear not: treatments for this cancer can be very successful, and you won't always have to lose your hair to chemotherapy. The target: the BCR-ABL gene, which makes your blood cells sick, unhappy, and generally cancer-ridden. Get prepared by learning what you need to know before entering the treatment room.
Drugs. Imatinib, dasatinib, and nilotinib may sound scary, but they're actually quite good if you're in the initial stages of your cancer. These cancer-fighting heroes help inhibit the protein in the BCR-ABL gene that cause cancer cells to multiply, essentially putting the lid on the spread of your cancer. If the cancer cells are too strong, however, these drugs will just be a blip on their radar. Your doctor will use these drugs until they verify the cancer isn't responding to it.
Chemotherapy. Okay, maybe you do need chemotherapy. Maybe you will lose your hair. If the cancer drugs don't help annihilate this deadly gene, chemotherapy most likely will, under the right conditions. Most likely, you'll take chemotherapy drugs that will attack these cancer cells, while experiencing a host of side effects that will most definitely test your human strength and courage. Hang in there--you're worth saving. You may be given other drugs to counteract the effects of chemotherapy, but you will have to suffer through some pain. No pain, no gain, right?
Biological Therapy. If the cancer continues to spread, doctors may use a treatment called biological therapy, a type of therapy that uses your immune system to fight off cancerous blood cells. Yes, even during cancer, your immune system can literally save you, so don't count it out yet. You may hear the drug interferon referenced frequency while you receive this therapy. No, it's not a Power Ranger villain--it's a drug that could literally save your life. There are risks associated with this drug, however, risks that you should discuss with your doctor. Whatever you choose, remember only your doctor can choose the best treatment for you. Stay strong--many people have recovered from chronic myeloid leukemia, and so can you.