Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Leukemia in Children


Leukemia in Children

There’s nothing more devastating than being told that your child may potentially have leukemia. A stressful and anxiety-inducing situation such as this is going to drastically change the child as well as their family's life moving forwards.

If you have found yourself in this unfortunate circumstance, what are you supposed to do? What are the diagnosis and treatment options for leukemia in children and how can you ensure your child recovers as soon as possible? The details surrounding these questions can be complicated and intricate. Please keep reading, we have prepared answers to frequently asked questions here.

Let's break it down. From the diagnosis to the most effective treatment options:


What Is Leukemia?

One might wonder what exactly leukemia is. To keep it simple, leukemia is a type of blood cancer. It can develop at any age and originates in the bone marrow.

Abnormal cell growth takes place and gives rise to symptoms such as fatigue, bone, and joint pain, bleeding or bruising, and high fever. Early detection may improve the chances of it being treated, however, follow-up and after care are required post-treatment.


Diagnosis Options

To diagnose leukemia, the most common method used is a bone marrow aspirate or a bone marrow biopsy. The tissue present here is examined and the type of leukemia is identified.

Secondly, a lumbar puncture test may also be conducted. Spinal fluid is extracted for examination in the procedure. It also helps indicate whether leukemia has spread to the central nervous system.

In addition, a lymph node biopsy, CBC test, sonography, or CAT scan may also be used for diagnosing cancer.

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Treatment Options

To treat leukemia in children, the following options are widely available and used:


This along with radiation therapy are effective in destroying acute leukemia cells that may be growing rapidly. It's usually done on an outpatient basis.

Blood Transfusions

This may be needed as well to replace blood cells.

Bone marrow transplant

To replace the bone marrow cells destroyed during chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant can be performed to generate healthy stem cells. Donor cells may be given via an IV, after which the bone marrow begins to produce normal white and red blood cells along with platelets.

Medications and antibiotics

Medications and antibiotics may be prescribed by the child's pediatrician based on the stage and type of leukemia.

Intrathecal medications

medicines may be given to the child, by a needle, in the area surrounding the spinal cord.


The Bottom Line

Cancers of all types can be devastating. Watching a loved one battle against it, especially a child who is vulnerable and helpless, makes the process more painful. No parent wants to go through this. Staying strong and being supportive will provide the child with hope as well.

Discuss the different diagnosis and treatment options with the child's pediatrician and pick the one best suited for your child. The sooner it's diagnosed, the faster it can be treated, providing the child with an opportunity for a complete future.

Disclaimer: Please note: this blog post is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the guidance of your personal physician. Please consult a medical professional if you have any concerns after reading this or other blog posts on this website.