Leukemia

Leukemia occurs when your white blood cell count dramatically increases. By overwhelming the number of red blood cells and platelets in your body, an unhealthy imbalance occurs. Leukemia cells can’t fight infection the way normal white blood cells do, and because of their overabundance, they begin to impact your organ function. Eventually, your red blood cells aren’t able to carry enough oxygen, platelets lose their ability to clot, and there won’t be enough normal white blood cells to fight infection.

There are two types of leukemia: acute and chronic. Acute leukemia occurs when most of the abnormal blood cells remain immature, and it can progress very quickly. Chronic leukemia happens when some cells are immature, but others function normally. This form of leukemia can still produce great harm, but it typically progresses more slowly.

Symptoms

Each individual will experience symptoms differently, but these are the most common signs of leukemia:
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Recurring or severe infections
  • Swollen lymph nodes, liver or spleen

Screening

Doctors often detect chronic leukemia during routine blood count checks done as part of a regular health check or for other reasons, such as those conducted when a person seeks employment, joins the military, is pregnant or is about to undergo an operation. There is no standard screening process for detecting early stage leukemia. In most cases, leukemia is not found until a person goes to the doctor because they are experiencing symptoms of the disease.

Treatment

Treatment for leukemia will vary depending on the stage, type and your overall health. In some cases, your doctor may choose to tackle treatment with traditional medications such as chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Surgery may also be an option, as well as the following procedures:
  • Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Blood transfusion (red blood cells, platelets)

If you’d like more information about your or a loved one’s cancer care, or to receive a second opinion about a diagnosis, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Why Choose Inspira?

Advanced Technology Meets Compassionate Support

We combine cutting-edge medical technology with a human touch, allowing us to provide expert care. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained oncology physicians are well-versed in the latest cancer treatments and are equipped with advanced technologies that can increase your chances for a successful recovery. We also understand that navigating the ups and downs of life with cancer can be overwhelming, which is why we provide a built-in support system of social workers, counselors, navigators, registered dieticians and behavioral health specialists so you and your family don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone.

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Inspira’s oncology physicians take a multi-faceted approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer by looking at your condition from a holistic perspective. Whether you’re just beginning treatment or are a cancer-free survivor, we take everything—genetics, lifestyle habits and other risk factors—into account when designing your care plan. By treating the whole person rather than just the disease itself, we’re able to offer a more targeted, personalized experience.

Access to Clinical Trials

Inspira participates in clinical trials to explore new ways to prevent, detect or treat cancer. Clinical trials can also focus on other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with cancer. Participants help others and may also benefit from receiving the newest treatment along with additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Cancer Services Close to Home

Residents of South Jersey need not travel far to get the best in cancer care—with multiple facilities in the region, Inspira delivers a full breadth of cancer services close to where you live. When you’re not distracted by a long commute to your medical provider, you have more energy to focus on what’s important: healing and getting your life back.