Hairy Cell Leukaemia is a rare cancer of the blood. In this slow-growing cancer, the bone marrow of the patient produces excess lymphocytes of B cells. These excess cells are abnormal and as they increase in quantity the production of healthy white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells decrease. The symptoms of this disease varies among patients, while some do not display any signs others could get tired easily, have recurring infections and experience weight loss.
HOW IS HAIRY-CELL LEUKEMIA DIAGNOSED?
Hairy-cell Leukemia can be diagnosed by the Oncologist through:
• A physical examination by feeling your spleen checking if it is enlarged
• Blood tests to determine the levels of blood cells
• Bone marrow biopsy
• CT scan of spleen and lymph nodes
HOW IS HAIRY-CELL LEUKEMIA TREATED?
Chemotherapy medications such as Cladribine and Pentostatin or Nipent are used as the first course of treatment for patients with hairy-cell leukaemia. Biological treatments such as interferon and rituximab could also be used to treat this disease. A splenectomy might also be suggested as a treatment option.
DID YOU KNOW?
It has been seen that alternative treatments like acupuncture are known to alleviate the symptoms of this cancer. If diagnosed at an earlier stage, they may be a crucial aid in controlling the spread of the same.