Hairy Cell Leukemia

Supportive Care :

Leukemia and its treatment can lead to other health problems. Patients receive supportive care to prevent or control these problems and to improve their comfort and quality of life during treatment.

Because people with leukemia get infections very easily, they may receive antibiotics and other drugs to help protect them from infections. The health care team may advise them to stay away from crowds and from people with colds and other contagious diseases. If an infection develops, it can be serious and should be treated promptly. Patients may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.

Anemia and bleeding are other problems that often require supportive care. Patients may need transfusions of red blood cells to help them have more energy. Platelet transfusions can help reduce the risk of serious bleeding.

Dental care also is very important. Leukemia and chemotherapy can make the mouth sensitive, easily infected, and likely to bleed. Doctors often advise patients to have a complete dental exam and, if possible, undergo needed dental care before chemotherapy begins. Dentists show patients how to keep their mouth clean and healthy during treatment.

Nutrition

Patients need to eat well during cancer therapy. They need enough calories to maintain a good weight and protein to keep up strength. Good nutrition often helps people with cancer feel better and have more energy.

But eating well can be difficult. Patients may not feel like eating if they are uncomfortable or tired. Also, the side effects of treatment, such as poor appetite, nausea, or vomiting, can be a problem. Foods may taste different.

The doctor, dietitian, or other health care provider can suggest ways to maintain a healthy diet

Follow up Care

Follow up care after treatment for leukemia is an important part of the overall treatment plan. Regular checkups ensure that any changes in health are noted. The doctor can find problems and treat them as soon as possible. Checkups may include a careful physical exam, blood tests, x-rays, bone marrow aspiration, or spinal tap. The doctor can explain the follow up plan—how often the patient must visit the doctor and what tests are needed.

Back to "Hairy Cell Leukemia"

<< Back to A to Z Cancer List

Free Consultation