Is it possible the early detection of leukemia
At the moment there is nospecial methods to diagnose acute leukemia at an early stage. The best recommendation is an urgent call to your doctor if you experience any unexplained symptoms. People in high-risk groups, should be subject to regular and close supervision.
How is diagnosed with acute leukemia
Leukemia can be accompanied by many signs andsymptoms, some of which are non-specific. Note that the following symptoms are most often in other diseases, but not in cancer.
Common symptoms of leukemia may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, fever (fever), and loss of appetite.
Most of the symptoms caused by acute leukemiadecrease in the number of erythrocytes as a result of the replacement of normal bone marrow, blood generating cells, leukemic cells. As a result of this process, the patient reduces the number of normally functioning erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.
Anemia (anemia) - is the result of reducing the amount of red blood cells. Anemia leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, and skin pallor.
Reducing the number of white blood cells increases the risk ofthe development of infectious diseases. Although patients with leukemia white blood cell count can be very high, these cells are not normal and does not protect the body from infection.
Low platelet counts can cause bruising, bleeding from the nose and gums.
The spread of leukemia outside the bone marrowto other organs or the central nervous system can cause a variety of symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, cramps, vomiting, gait disturbance and vision.
Some patients may complain of pain in the bones and joints due to their defeat leukemia cells.
Leukemia can lead to an increase of liver and spleen. If it affects the lymph nodes may be enlarged.
In patients with acute myeloid leukemia gingival lesion leads to swelling, pain and bleeding. Skin lesions manifested by the presence of small colored spots that resemble a rash.
When the T-cell type of acute lymphoblasticleukemia often affected thymus. Major Vienna (upper hollow Vienna), which carries blood from the head and upper extremities to the heart, passes next to the thymus gland. The increase of the thymus gland can compress the trachea, causing coughing, wheezing and even suffocation.
When compression of the superior vena cava is possible edemaface and upper extremities (superior vena cava syndrome). This may interfere with the blood supply to the brain and be life-threatening. Patients with this syndrome should begin treatment immediately.
Methods of diagnosis and classification of leukemia
The presence of some of the above symptoms does not necessarily mean that the patient has leukemia. Therefore, additional studies are conducted to clarify the diagnosis, and confirmation of leukemia - the type.
Blood tests. Changing the number of different types of blood cellsand their appearance under the microscope can give suggest leukemia. Most patients with acute leukemia (acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute myelogenous leukemia), for example, there are too many white blood cells, platelets and small red cells. In addition, many leukocytes are blast cells (immature type cells not normally circulating in the blood). These cells do not perform their function.
Bone marrow examination. Using a fine needle is taken a small amount of bone marrow for the study. This method is used to confirm the diagnosis of leukemia and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.
A biopsy of a lymph node. In this procedure, the lymph node is removed entirely and then investigated.
Spinal puncture. During the execution of this procedure, a thin needleintroduced into the lumbar spinal canal for receipt of a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid, which is studied for the detection of leukemic cells.
Laboratory research. For the diagnosis and clarify the type of leukemiaThey used a variety of special techniques: cytochemistry, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, cytogenetics and molecular genetic studies. Experts studying bone marrow, lymph node tissue, blood, cerebrospinal fluid under a microscope. They estimate the size and shape of cells, and other cell characteristics and to determine the type of leukemia, the degree of maturity of the cells.
Other research methods
- X-rays are performed for the detection of tumor formation in the thoracic cavity, destruction of bones and joints.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan is a specialby X-ray examination, allowing to examine the body from different angles. The method is used for the detection of lesions of thoracic and abdominal cavities.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses strong magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body. The method is especially justified to assess the state of the brain and spinal cord.
- Ultrasonography (ultrasound) to distinguish tumor formation and cysts, as well as the state of the kidneys, liver and spleen, the lymph nodes.
- Scanning of the lymphatic system and bone: in this method the radioactive substance is injected intravenously and accumulate in the bone or lymph nodes. It allows you to differentiate between leukemia and inflammatory processes in the lymph nodes and bones.