Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with powerful drugs to destroy leukemia cells by obstructing their development and reproduction.
These powerful drugs are generally known as “anticancer” drugs.
The drugs can be given intravenously (through a vein), by subcutaneously (injection under the skin), by intramuscularly (injected into muscle), by intrathecally (injected into cerebrospinal fluid), or by mouth.
In general, this therapy is used by itself or in combination with radiation therapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, or a combination of these.
The chemotherapy can be used to treat leukemia and its types.
Leukemia is a disease (cancer) that affects your bone marrow and blood and is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of blood cells. It is a rare disease with a very serious and severe condition, which can even lead to death. Moreover, treating your leukemia cancer may be painful and too hard.
The leukemia is divided into categories: myelogenous or lymphocytic where each of these can be acute or chronic. These two terms ‘myelogenous’ and ‘lymphocytic’ indicates the type of cell involved.
The type of treatment for your leukemia cancer depends on several factors: the location in the body where it started, the type of cancer cells in your body and whether the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.
However, chemotherapy is planned carefully with a series of sessions for treating leukemia. Each session is followed by a rest period. These sessions along with the rest period is considered to be a cycle of treatment. A series of these cycles makes up a treatment course.
Each session of this therapy destroys more of the cancer cells where the rest period allows the healthy cells and tissues to recover.
Basically, the treatment session begins through induction chemotherapy because it helps bring leukemia into remission, where your blood counts return to its normal count and the leukemia cells lessen significantly.
The first treatment phase, induction chemotherapy, can be very powerful and lasts about one week. You may not turn out to be successful with the first session of chemotherapy.
Normally, for a successful initial phase of induction chemotherapy, the oncologists consider a combination of chemotherapy that provides the benefits of early remission and a lower risk of disease resistance.
In addition to these, consolidation treatments may be given to prevent recurrence of leukemia once treatment session succeeds. Actually, the consolidation treatment involves a repetition of induction or the intensification chemotherapy with additional drugs.
If leukemia cells are not destroyed completely with the first chemotherapy phase, then consolidation chemotherapy is used to destroy the leukemia cells that are left. Most of the cases that come to this point of treatment will eventually get cured successfully.
Unfortunately, with each session, a number of healthy cells in your body get divide and harmed rapidly and also cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss and mouth sores.
However, these damages to the healthy cells is usually temporary the side effects will disappear once the chemotherapy treatment for your leukemia cancer is completed successfully.