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Treatments – Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Acute myelogenous leukemia is a very aggressive form of cancer and individuals diagnosed with the condition will need to begin medical treatment right away to avoid serious complications. Acute myelogenous leukemia is considered the most common type of leukemia in the country and responds well to treatment in the majority of cases. The goal of treatment is to bring the condition into remission for a long-term or permanent basis. There are several different treatments available for acute myelogenous leukemia and each one may be used in conjunction with others to ensure the best course of treatment for the individual affected.

The first step in the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia is obtaining a positive diagnosis of the condition. There are several conditions that may mimic the symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia and, since acute myelogenous leukemia is only one of many types of leukemia, the exact cause of the appearance of symptoms must be discovered in order to be able to treat the condition. A positive diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia is typically obtained by conducting tests on the blood and bone marrow of the patient. In some cases, a spinal tap may be needed to further narrow down the cause of the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. If a positive diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia is determined to be the cause of the symptoms, then treatment must be begun quickly to avoid further harm and serious complications.

After a positive diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia is obtained and the severity of the condition established, then the best course of treatment will be determined and treatment started. There are two phases to the initial treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia. The first phase of treatment is called remission induction therapy and is intended to kill the leukemia cells present in the blood and bone marrow of the patient. Although this initial therapy can greatly reduce the amount of leukemia cells in the body, it cannot kill all of them. This is where the second phase of treatment comes in. The second phase of therapy is called consolation therapy or post remission therapy and is intended to kill the remaining leukemia cells in the body and prevent them from returning.

There are several different courses of treatment that may be followed during the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia. The most common form of treatment used for remission induction therapy is chemotherapy. For this treatment, the individual must be hospitalized as chemotherapy can kill many healthy blood cells in its quest to kill the leukemia cells. This can cause severe complications if not monitored properly by professional medical personnel. Other anti-cancer drugs may be used in conjunction with chemotherapy or alone to improve the patient’s chances of removing all of the cells affected by acute myelogenous leukemia.

Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, may also be used to reduce the amount of leukemia cells in the body. Biological therapy boosts the immune system of the patient, allowing the body to locate, attack, and destroy the cancer cells in the blood stream. Patients may also undergo a bone marrow transplant or a stem cell transplant if other treatments are ineffective or the patient has a high risk of relapse. By using these treatments in the manner determined to be best by the physician, the individual has a good chance of leading a long healthy life free of the complications of acute myelogenous leukemia. The condition can be managed effectively for a long period of time and can even be in remission for the rest of the individual’s life.

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