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3 major misunderstandings on childhood leukemia
Understand the 4 major problems and 3 major misunderstandings of childhood leukemia in 3 minutes.
At present, we believe that childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a treatable disease, rather than the so-called “talking about cancer”.
Leukemia is a malignant tumor of the hematopoietic system that occurs due to abnormalities, apoptosis, and malignant proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells at different stages in the differentiation process. The incidence of acute leukemia in childhood is similar to that of adults, ranging from three to six per 100,000. The adult incidence may be even higher, reaching six out of 100,000. However, because childhood leukemia has the highest incidence of childhood tumor diseases, it has received a lot of attention.
In order to popularize the knowledge of childhood leukemia, I hope to give some guidance to parents of children with children, so that children can avoid detours during treatment. Today, Professor Wu Nanhai, the deputy director of the Department of Hematology and the second director of the blood hospitalization, is invited to introduce some basic knowledge points of childhood leukemia and some common misunderstandings in people’s perceptions.
Q: What are the symptoms of childhood leukemia?
There are many manifestations of childhood leukemia, the most common are easy infection, fever, anemia, bleeding, liver and spleen lymph nodes, some patients will also have bone and joint pain, some uncommon manifestations include headache, vomiting, lethargy, Enlarged testicles, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, etc.
If your child has uncontrollable fever, anemia, bleeding, swollen stomach or swollen lymph nodes, or even bone pain, seek medical attention. If combined with the peripheral blood routine, it is found that the white blood cells are abnormally increased or decreased, and even the primitive and naive cells, as well as the decrease of hemoglobin and platelets, need to be highly vigilant against the possibility of leukemia. The final diagnosis of leukemia requires bone marrow aspiration.
Q: What is the cause of childhood leukemia?
Many parents often ask, why does my child have leukemia? Is it due to environmental pollution? Or is it genetic? The current cause of leukemia is not clear, and may be related to factors such as genetics, living environment, physical radiation, and chemical poisons. But even if one child in the family gets leukemia, there is no need to worry too much about the other child getting leukemia. Leukemia is generally not inherited. But if the twins are identical twins, if one child has leukemia, the other must be sent to the hematology department for examination.
Q: Is childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia a treatable disease?
Childhood leukemia is mainly acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which accounts for 75% of all childhood leukemias. With the improvement of medical standards in the past two to three decades, the prognosis has also been greatly improved. Currently in developed countries, the cure rate of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is close to 90%. Therefore, we currently believe that childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a treatable disease, rather than the so-called “talking about cancer”.
Q: How is acute lymphocytic leukemia treated? How long will it take to treat?
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is divided into many types, and different types of treatment methods are different. The doctor will formulate a personalized treatment plan according to the specific condition of each patient. The treatment of ALL is divided into several stages before and after, namely induction of remission, strengthening of consolidation and maintenance treatment. Treatment methods include chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiotherapy, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The total treatment time needs to be determined according to the patient’s physical condition and condition changes. Most treatment programs take 2 to 3 years to complete.
Q: What are the common misconceptions people have about childhood leukemia?
Misunderstanding 1: Leukemia is incurable
At the time of diagnosis and initial treatment, many parents thought that the disease was terminally ill, and all treatments were aimed at prolonging life. Therefore, some parents chose to give up treatment. In fact, the average cure rate of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in China has reached more than 80%, while the average cure rate abroad is close to 90%. Therefore, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a treatable disease, not a terminal illness.
Misunderstanding 2: Bone piercing will harm the child’s body
There are also some parents who feel distressed for their children and think that bone puncture and waist puncture are traumatic tests that are not good for their children, so they are unwilling to do it. In fact, the current bone puncture technique has been greatly improved compared with the past. For example, the change from thick needle to scalp needle puncture has greatly reduced the degree of pain, and parents need not worry too much.
It is worth mentioning that the price of domestic minimal residual disease testing is no longer unattainable. After this type of testing becomes more popular, the frequency of a bone marrow test can be reduced from once a month to roughly every two months. Once half a year, and if there are no special circumstances after five years, there is no need to test the bone marrow.
Misunderstanding 3: Unauthorized change of dosage
In the course of treatment, a common misunderstanding is that many parents think that chemotherapy has more toxic side effects and that taking medicine is more uncomfortable than getting sick. Therefore, it is a bit of a taboo to avoid taking medicine on time or reduce the dosage of medicine without authorization. This is also the reason why the treatment effect of some patients is not ideal.
On the contrary, many parents think that leukemia is a serious disease, so it needs to use strong medicine to achieve the cure effect, so there will be cases of privately increasing the dose of medicine. In fact, chemotherapy drugs are a double-edged sword. Excessive use of drugs can cause serious side effects and even cause other serious diseases. Therefore, all drugs must be used scientifically and individually according to the doctor’s instructions.
(source:internet, reference only)