Essay: Prevention of Leukemia

Sample Essay

The best plan for prevention of childhood leukemia involves the reduction of exposure to all risk factors during and after pregnancy. Meaning avoiding exposure to radiation, magnetic fields, smoking, alcohol, drugs and hydrocarbon especially benzene is indicated. A healthy maternal diet has also shown evidence of lowering the risk. There is new evidence that there is a decrease of cancer risk in newborns given the BCG vaccination (R, VP, U, J, & U, 2000 ).
Treatment

Treatment for all leukemia involves the use of chemotherapy to bring about bone marrow remission. This is done in the phases of Induction chemotherapy in the first month. The child receives prednisone, L-asparaginase, and vincristine during this time. This is followed by Consolidation therapy for a few months to eliminate any remaining leukemic cells. Children with low risk ALL receive antimetabolite drugs such as methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP). While those at a higher risk receive higher dosages of the same drug with others. There is also central nervous system prophylaxis to prevent neural involvement. The final phase can continue for up to three years this is maintenance chemotherapy to prevent relapse with lower doses of the same drugs as during induction. Sometimes hydroxyurea is used in CML to control the white blood count (Medline Plus, 2009).
The first line therapy for CML is Imatinib which blocks the Philadelphia chromosome. There are new medications also available that work in the same way called dasatinib and nilotinib. They are associated with a high level of remission (Medline Plus, 2009).
The only cure for blast crisis is a bone marrow transplant. This can also be used for ALL and AML when other therapies fail (Medline Plus, 2008).

The best plan for prevention of childhood leukemia involves the reduction of exposure to all risk factors during and after pregnancy. Meaning avoiding exposure to radiation, magnetic fields, smoking, alcohol, drugs and hydrocarbon especially benzene is indicated. A healthy maternal diet has also shown evidence of lowering the risk. There is new evidence that there is a decrease of cancer risk in newborns given the BCG vaccination (R, VP, U, J, & U, 2000 ). TreatmentTreatment for all leukemia involves the use of chemotherapy to bring about bone marrow remission. This is done in the phases of Induction chemotherapy in the first month. The child receives prednisone, L-asparaginase, and vincristine during this time. This is followed by Consolidation therapy for a few months to eliminate any remaining leukemic cells. Children with low risk ALL receive antimetabolite drugs such as methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP). While those at a higher risk receive higher dosages of the same drug with others. There is also central nervous system prophylaxis to prevent neural involvement. The final phase can continue for up to three years this is maintenance chemotherapy to prevent relapse with lower doses of the same drugs as during induction. Sometimes hydroxyurea is used in CML to control the white blood count (Medline Plus, 2009).The first line therapy for CML is Imatinib which blocks the Philadelphia chromosome. There are new medications also available that work in the same way called dasatinib and nilotinib. They are associated with a high level of remission (Medline Plus, 2009). The only cure for blast crisis is a bone marrow transplant. This can also be used for ALL and AML when other therapies fail (Medline Plus, 2008).

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