I decided to write my research paper on Leukemia because my uncle who lived in Bend, OR found out that he had Leukemia. This news was devastating for our family including my uncle. His health started dropping and he started felling tired all the time. My uncle’s this condition led him to lose his job because he could not keep up with his work. In our culture sole provider of the household is man. In this situation financial condition of the family was terrible because neither my uncle nor his wife were working. Their kids school grades were dropping and they were sadden by their father’s sickness. His son had emotional breakdown, and wanted to spend all his time with his father. This commotion of the family even spilled over to my side of the family. My mom was really attached to her brother; finding out that her brother has cancer. It was very hard on my mom. My mom’s health was at its worse when she got news of my uncle’s sickness.
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My uncle’s parents lived in India. Finding out their one and only son has a deadly sickness; it was very disturbing for his parents. They applied for visas to come to the United States to see their son. Even though, the family in the United States made a request to immigration services to allow my uncles parents to come to the United States to see their son. Supporting documents were submitted including a detailed letter from my uncle’s doctor describing his medical condition. However, their requests for obtaining U.S. visas were denied. My uncle’s medical condition did not allow him to travel to India to see his parents for the last time in his life.
Furthermore, my uncle did not have medical insurance. The reason for not having a medical insurance was the high cost of it. Other big factor of not having insurance was that my uncle did not have a job for a long time. Even when he had a job it did not come with medical benefits. However, few months after my uncle found out that he had a cancer, and was hospitalized a doctor from the hospital down in Bend, Oregon helped him to get a medical insurance through Oregon Health Plan. This helped my uncle and his family a lot. My uncle was able to get quality treatment from the hospital through that health plan. The doctors did chemotherapy for six months and still it didn’t cure him, and soon doctors gave up, and said sorry he won’t live for long. Just week after that my uncle passed away. This is how my family is impacted by Leukemia.
Leukemia is cancer that starts in the tissue that forms blood. To know how cancer starts it is helpful to know how normal blood cells form. Most blood cells are formed in the bone marrow called stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft material in the center of most bones. When mature it develops into different kinds of blood cells, each kind does a special job. Major kinds include the red blood cells and the white blood cells. White blood cells are helpful to fight infections. There are many kinds of white blood cells.
Red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues throughout the body. The platelets help form blood clots to prevent bleeding. White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are created from stem cells when body needs them. When these cells grow old or damaged, they die, and then new cells take their place.
In a patient who has leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. Those abnormal blood cells are called leukemia cells. Normal blood cells die when they reach a certain age or when they get damaged, whereas leukemia cells do not die after aging or getting damaged. They start to crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This situation makes it very hard for normal blood cells to do their job.
There are two types of leukemia; the types of leukemia can be grouped on the bases of how quick the disease develops and gets worse. Leukemia is either chronic which usually gets worse slowly, or theirs acute which usually gets worse quickly.
In the beginning stages of the disease, the leukemia cells can still do the job for normal white blood cells. Patient may not have any sign at first; doctors often find the chronic leukemia during a routine checkup before there are any symptoms. Gradually, chronic leukemia gets worse. As the number of leukemia cells in the blood increases, patients starts to get symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, fevers, night sweats, weak feeling, bleeding, weight loss, swelling, pain or infections. When those symptoms do appear, they are usually mild at first and get worse slowly.
The leukemia cells can’t do any of the work of normal white blood cells. The number of leukemia cells increases quickly. Patients usually go to their doctor because they feel sick. If the brain is affected, they may headaches, vomiting, confusion, loss of muscle control, or seizures. Patients start to get symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, fevers, night sweats, weak feeling, bleeding, weight loss, swelling, pain or infections. Acute leukemia usually worsens rapidly.
Have one or more of the following tests done: physical exam, blood tests, biopsy done two ways bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy.
As long prevention goes, there is no way to prevent leukemia at this time. However, avoiding risk factors such as smoking, exposure to toxic chemicals, diagnostic x-rays, and exposure to radiation may help prevent some cases of leukemia. Being healthy and staying healthy plays a big role in preventing leukemia. What we put into our bodies has a lot to do with our overall health.
Cancer Fighting Foods:
I have also done some research on foods that are known to prevent different types of cancer. Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits help to prevent leukemia, list of vegetables and fruits are:
Avocados – rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in body.
Black Raspberries & Blueberries – contain an antioxidant that kills leukemia cells without harming healthy cells.
Carrots – contain beta carotene, which may help reduce cancer.
Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage – contains two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin that may help reduce cancer.
Garlic – increases the activity of immune cells and helps break down substances that cause cancer.
Grapefruits, oranges, papayas, pomegranate – help prevent cancer
Leukemia treatment falls into two types of treatment to fight the cancer and treatment to relieve the symptoms of the disease and the side effects of the treatment. Chemotherapy is the widely used treatment for leukemia; it is the powerful drug to kill leukemia cells. Therapy can be administered by mouth or vein depending on the type of medication. Sometimes depending on the case chemotherapy can be given at home. In other cases patient has to hospitalize to receive the therapy. By this it kills cells or stops them from reproducing. It also kills rapidly growing healthy cells, accounting for many of the side effects of therapy. The severity of the side effects depends on the doses given and the patient’s tolerance.
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Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles. Each cycle consists of severe treatment over several days followed by a few weeks without treatment for rest and recovery from side effects caused by the therapy, mostly anemia and low white blood cells. The sequence is then repeated. It may be administered for two to six cycles, depending on subtype leukemia and risk factors involved.
Bone marrow exams may be done prior to each cycle of therapy. After completion of treatment the patient is evaluated again to see the effect of the chemotherapy for leukemia.
In end it is all about how we take care of our bodies, our diet plays a big role in our well being and staying healthy. As stated above leukemia cancer is a very dangerous disease. We should take proper precaution to prevent this disease. Doctors are taking several measures to prevent this cancer from spreading in human body. If leukemia cancer is not taken care in its early stages it may prove fatal to human body.
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