How Is Leukemia Treated
Treatments for leukemia depend on the type of leukemia you have, your age and overall health, and if the leukemia has spread to other organs or tissues.
Common treatments often include a combination of the following:
Clinical trials are also available to test new cancer treatments. Weigh the potential benefits and risks of enrolling in a clinical trial with your healthcare provider.
S Of Leukemia Rashes And Bruising
Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that develops in your bone marrow the place where blood cells are made. It causes your body to make a large number of abnormal white blood cells.
White blood cells normally protect the body against infection. In leukemia, all those damaged white blood cells crowd out healthy blood cells. When this happens, skin symptoms can occur.
In 2018, around were living with leukemia in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute .
The rate of new diagnoses for leukemia in 2018 was . When categorized according to race and ethnicity, the rates were:
- 16.5 for non-Hispanic white people
- 11.4 for Black people
- 11.4 for Hispanic people
- 11.2 for American Indian/Alaska Native people
- 8.8 for Asian/Pacific Islander people
In this article, find out more about the skin symptoms leukemia can cause.
Common skin symptoms with leukemia include:
- other skin infections due to a reduced immune response
Finding Your Leukemia Doctor
At Immunity Therapy Center, we take an alternative approach to traditional cancer treatment methods, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other invasive methods such as a stem cell transplant or a bone marrow transplant. Our alternative treatment options are unique to each patient depending on their diagnosis and needs.
We know that cancer symptoms and a diagnosis can be overwhelming. Thats why we take time every day to speak with our patients, answer your questions, and provide you with the best cancer care experience possible. From all of us at ITC, thanks for reading. Were wishing you a happy and healthy day ahead.
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What Do Rashes Caused By Leukemia Look Like
Suffering from Leukemia often causes the tiny blood vessels to burst beneath the skin. After a certain point, the production of abnormal blood cells ends up acting as a barrier to the normal production of platelets. Therefore, it might happen that the body might not have enough platelet count to block the burst capillaries, and as a result, the blood seeps out into the skin.
This leakage results in red, purple or brown tiny spots called petechiae. A certain collection of these petechiae often look like a rash. A fruitful way to distinguish petechiae from a rash is by pressing down on the affected spot of the skin. If it is a rash, the colour will change into white, and if it is a petechia, there would not be any change in the colour of the spot.
What Are The Phases Of Leukemia Treatment
Depending on your treatment plan, you may receive ongoing leukemia treatments long-term or treatment in phases. Generally, phased treatment involves three parts. Each phase has a specific goal.
Your healthcare provider may resume or change your treatment if the leukemia returns.
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Where Can I Find Support Groups
To connect with people with leukemia or to locate additional support from people who understand what it means to live with a cancer diagnosis, visit your local Leukemia & Lymphoma Society chapter.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Any cancer diagnosis is scary, but a leukemia diagnosis may feel especially so. It can be difficult to imagine what the treatment experience will be like without a tumor that can be removed. It can be intimidating to imagine the prognosis. Remember that leukemia isnt one thing with one outcome. Your treatment and your chance of long-term remission depend on many factors. No one can predict your outcomes without understanding your health and leukemia down to the characteristics of the leukemia cells. Talk with your healthcare provider about what a leukemia diagnosis means for you.
How Are Petechiae Treated
Treatment for petechiae varies depending on the cause. For straining or a skin injury, you may not need any treatment. If there is a more serious cause, you may need:
- Antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection.
- Corticosteroids to reduce swelling in the blood vessels.
- Drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Vitamin C supplements.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
If you go to get checked out, here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor:
- Im worried about blood cancer is that something you can rule out?
- Do I need a blood test?
- Do I need a lymph node biopsy?
- Do I need any scans?
- Do you need to take a urine sample?
- As my symptoms might be blood cancer, can I be referred for tests on the two-week suspected cancer pathway?
Iowa Woman’s Skin ‘dots’ Turn Out To Be Symptom Of Rare Blood Cancer
A 20-year-old Iowa woman who noticed some seemingly innocuous spots on her skin was later shocked to discover that they were a symptom of blood cancer.
Helaina Hillyard first became aware of the unusual “dots” after college basketball practice in November, 2021, at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jam Press reported.
Hillyard had felt a little tired during the practice, but didn’t think much of it at the time. However, within a few hours the dots had grown larger and appeared all over her body.
Initially, the she assumed the marks were just bruising from playing sport. But after the practice she met her sister, who suspected that something was wrong and that she needed to go to hospital immediately, The Hawk Eye reported.
Hillyard’s sister took her to a local hospital where doctors conducted blood tests. These revealed that her platelet levels were very low. Platelets are tiny blood cells that help form clots in order to prevent bleeding.
“They did some tests and found that my platelets were really, really low. Like 150,000 is normal and mine was like 4,000,” Hillyard told the Eye.
Doctors also told her that the round spots on her skin were called petechiae and that they appear as a result of bleeding.
“I never in a million years could think something like this could happen to anyone in my life let alone myself,” she said.
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Types Of Leukemia Rash
Leukemia Cutis: An Unusual Rash In A Child
A previously healthy four-year-old girl presented with a rash of sudden onset consisting of erythematous macules on both cheeks that were neither itchy nor tender and did not blanch. Over the next week, the rash spread from her cheeks to her arms, back, thighs and buttocks, and became papular and darker. The patient had no other symptoms. One week later, when the rash had not resolved, oral cephalexin was prescribed. The rash did not improve and the patient was referred to a pediatric dermatologist.
Erythematous macular-papular rash on the cheek of a four-year-old girl with leukemia cutis.
A skin biopsy performed two weeks after the onset of the rash showed leukemic blast cells . Bloodwork was then performed and a peripheral blood smear showed blast cells. Physical examination showed hepatosplenomegaly and mild cervical lymphadenopathy in addition to the rash.
Microscopic view of skin biopsy specimen showing leukemic blast cells .
Histologic image of bone marrow aspirate showing multiple lymphoblasts .
The results of a lumbar puncture showed no evidence of leukemic cells. A radiograph of the chest was normal. Ultrasonography of the abdomen confirmed hepatosplenomegaly with extension of the edge of the liver to 3 cm below the costal margin and enlargement of the spleen to a diameter of 13.9 cm.
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Are Petechiae A Rash
Petechiae may look like a rash, but theyre not. These pinpoint red dots on the skin are caused by broken capillaries, tiny blood vessels under the skin. They are not itchy or painful.
If you press on petechiae, theyll stay purple, red or brown. But if you press on a rash, it will turn pale or lighter.
Swollen And Enlarged Gums
Although an increase in the size of the gums, also known as gingival hyperplasia, is usually only found in a small number of people with acute leukemia, its one of the most obvious leukemia symptoms. If you have a patient with leukemia, you always look in their mouth to see if the gingiva has gotten bigger, says Dr. Crilley. The gums may look swollen, adds Dr. Levis, and you nearly always feel a strange tightness in your mouth. Check out these other surprising diseases dentists find first.
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Symptoms In Different Skin Tones
Some symptoms of blood cancer can look different on different skin tones.
- Bruises generally start as red patches which change colour and get darker over time. They often feel tender. On black and brown skin, bruises may be difficult to see initially, but as they develop, they show up as darker than the skin around them.
- Rashes often appear as clusters of tiny spots or larger blotches . On black and brown skin, they may look purple or darker than the surrounding skin. On lighter skin, they typically look red or purple. If you press on them, petechiae and purpura dont fade.
- Paleness might mean someone looks unusually pale because they have too few red blood cells. Pallor is often more immediately noticeable in light skin. People with black or brown skin may look greyish and their palms may look paler than usual. They might also notice pallor in their lips, gums, tongue or nail beds. In all skin tones, pallor can be seen by pulling down the lower eyelid. The inside is normally dark pink or red, but if its pale pink or white, its a sign of pallor.
You can read more about the causes of these symptoms and others below.
We’d like to thank theACLT for their help reviewing this information. ACLT raises awareness about stem cell, blood and organ donation in all UK communities, with a focus on the African and Caribbean communities.
Can Leukemia Be Cured
There isnt a cure for leukemia, but this doesnt mean some people dont achieve long-term remission. Being cured of leukemia means that the cancers gone, its not coming back and no more treatment is needed but this is hard to know for sure with leukemia.
On the other hand, long-term remission means theres no sign of cancer with or without treatment. Remission may last anywhere from a few weeks to many years. The leukemia may never return. If it does, your healthcare provider may recommend new treatments to achieve remission.
Your healthcare team can best answer the question, Am I cured of my leukemia? Your team will work closely with you to monitor your health and develop a personalized treatment plan.
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/7discomfort Under The Lower Rib
Due to an enlarged liver or spleen, there might be a constant discomfort under the lower rib. Leukemia patients usually suffer from swollen nodes, which is the reason why this symptom is a unique one. It is better to get yourself tested if you detect this symptom, accompanied with any other symptoms that follow.
How Is Leukemia Rash Treated
Treatment may depend on the type of rash:
- Petechiae or bruises usually resolve with chemotherapy sessions. Sometimes, your doctor may suggest other treatments such as radiation or stem cell transplant, depending on the type of leukemia you have and your overall health.
- If you have developed Sweets syndrome, your doctor may put you on a course of oral corticosteroids.
- If you are on chemotherapy and you develop a rash, let your doctor know. The rash may be a side effect of one of chemotherapy medications. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medications to minimize the rash. Chemotherapy rash is sensitive to extreme environmental changes such as heat and cold and even to bright sunlight. Therefore, remember to wear proper clothing and sunscreen whenever you venture out under the sun.
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Could Tiny Red Spots On Skin Be A Sign Of Leukemia
When there are tiny red spots on the skin, leukemia may be the cause. Until leukemia is revealed on a routine blood test, its quite common for someone to have it and not know it, since the symptoms are easily missed.
Leukemia is a common cancer of the bone marrow and blood. People who suffer from leukemia have damaged white blood cells that interfere with healthy cells.
You may think you have a rash when in reality your blood vessels are broken.
Other symptoms common with leukemia include easy bleeding or bruising, unexpected weight loss, excessive fatigue, flu symptoms, recurrent nosebleeds, fever or chills, bleeding gums, frequent infections, and bone pain.
Tiny Spots Called Petechiae
One symptom that some people with leukemia might notice is tiny red spots on their skin. These pinpoints of blood are called petechiae. On fair and light skin tones, these may appear as red dots. On darker skin tones, they may be darker than the surrounding skin and less noticeable.
Petechiae usually occur where blood is most likely to accumulate, such as in your:
The spots are caused by tiny broken blood vessels, called capillaries, under the skin. Normally, platelets, the disc-shaped cells in the blood, help your blood clot. But with leukemia, your body does not have enough platelets to seal off the broken blood vessels.
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What Are The Early Signs Of Leukemia In Adults
Now that weve answered what are the early signs of childhood cancer, lets talk about what are the early signs of leukemia in adults.
Many of the symptoms that children experience are also experienced by adults, and symptoms vary based on the type of leukemia, how fast it grows, and at what stage the leukemia is diagnosed. Leukemia symptoms in adults may resemble the flu. Keep in mind that with the flu, the symptoms will typically subside as you get better while leukemia symptoms will typically last longer than two weeks. In general, heres what to look for.
Abnormal Bleeding Under The Skin
Leukemia disrupts the bodys production of healthy blood cells and blood cell platelets. Platelets are what help the blood to clot and to stop abnormal bleeding. When platelets become low, bruises can happen more easily. When talking about what leukemia looks like, many of our patients will notice they bruise spontaneously or without much force to warrant a typical bruise.
Leukemia bruises might resemble a normal bruise, but you might find there are more of them than usual. Sometimes, theyll occur in an unusual area of the body, like the back.
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How Does Leukemia Affect My Body
Having too many leukemia cells and too few normal cells is harmful for several reasons:
- Leukemia cells serve no purpose in keeping you healthy.
- Normal blood cells have very little space and support to mature and multiply inside of your bone marrow because the leukemia cells overtake them.
- Fewer red blood cells, healthy white blood cells and platelets are made and released into your blood. As a result, your bodys organs and tissues wont get the oxygen needed to work properly. Also, your body wont be able to fight infections or form blood clots when needed.