Sunday, April 30, 2023

Leukemia in children.. Types, symptoms and treatment

Definition of leukemia:

Leukemia in children is one of the most common types of cancer among children. It is a group of malignant cells that multiply in the blood. Normal blood consists of red blood cells that distribute oxygen in the blood and white blood cells that provide immunity to the body and resist all bacteria and viruses that enter the body. And platelets that freeze blood, especially when bleeding occurs, and cancer cells are produced in children as a result of random and uncontrolled proliferation in white blood cells, so cancer cells that differ in shape from white blood cells appear and prevent both red and white blood cells and platelets from performing their tasks in the body in a normal way, which causes the emergence of Several symptoms in the child and the factory of these cells in the skeletal system.

Factors for the emergence of leukemia in children:

Studies and research have shown that there is no main reason behind the appearance of leukemia, while there are several factors that may stimulate its appearance, such as genetic factors or frequent exposure to chemicals and radiation, in addition to pollution and some types of viruses that infect the body and turn over a period of time into cancerous cells. Down syndrome is more likely than the rest of the children to develop this disease, while adolescence or the age group between two and five years is the most likely period in which the disease is detected.

Symptoms of leukemia in children:

The symptoms of leukemia differ according to the part affected by the cancer cells. If the red blood cells are affected, we may notice paleness on the child. We can also notice rapid fatigue and the inability to perform activities that require effort as before. If the white blood cells are affected, the child becomes more sensitive to viral or bacterial infections, and he suffers from several diseases. In close periods, the body temperature may rise suddenly and continue for a long time, even though the child is given the appropriate medications. All these symptoms indicate the presence of leukemia, while there are also some less common symptoms, such as swelling of the liver or spleen, or the child's feeling of severe pain in the joints. In males, this disease can affect the testicles, and the child can feel pain and his testicles swell.

Types of blood cancers in children:

There are two types of leukemia that affect children, namely the acute type or the chronic type. Acute leukemia represents the most prevalent cancer by 80 percent, while chronic cancer represents only 20 percent. Acute cancer can have lymphoid or myeloid cells, i.e. arising from the bone from the inside. Lymphocytes are considered Less virulent than myeloid cells, while chronic leukemia is more dangerous than acute leukemia, and its symptoms are similar to acute leukemia, but its appearance and development is slow and cannot be noticed at first. In some cases, the child may not show any symptoms, and the parents may discover the disease by chance through a regular blood test.

Diagnosis of leukemia in children:

If the cancer has affected the red and white blood cells and platelets, the blood analysis can reveal a significant increase or decrease in the percentage of blood cells in the blood. The diagnosis is also made by extracting a sample from inside the bone, i.e. from the spinal cord, and presenting it for analysis. If the percentage of malignant cells exceeds 20 percent It is confirmed that the child has cancer, and after the initial diagnosis, other tests are carried out to determine the type of leukemia by analyzing the quality of the cells and the genes within them.

Treatment of leukemia in children:

Chemotherapy is considered one of the main treatments for leukemia, and the treatment goes through three periods, while chemotherapy doses are given in the fourth period by drinking it from the mouth, while it is injected directly into a vein during the first three periods, and pressure gradually decreases on the child since the fourth period, and his condition begins to improve. He pointed out that chemotherapy can result in side effects that disappear at the end of the treatment period, and the most important symptoms are hair loss and loss of appetite with a feeling of nausea and constant exhaustion. These symptoms can be reduced by medication during the chemotherapy period. The importance of paying attention to the child's psychological health must be emphasized during That period.