- Radiation therapy may be used to destroy cancer cells and shrink
tumors. Radiation can be applied to one area or to the whole body. Sometimes it
is used to treat leukemia that has spread to the brain and central nervous
system or to prevent this spread. It also may be used to shrink swollen lymph
nodes or to prepare your body for a bone marrow transplant.
- Stem cell transplant may be used to destroy all the cells in your bone
marrow, including the leukemia cells, and replace them with new, normal cells. Most transplants are
allogeneic. This means that the stem cells are donated by
someone else. Transplants can also be autologous. This means that the stem cells come from your own
People sometimes use complementary therapies along with medical treatment to help relieve symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments. Some of the complementary therapies that may be helpful include:
Mind-body treatments like the ones listed above may help you feel better. They can make it easier to cope with cancer treatments. They also may reduce chronic low back pain, joint pain, headaches, and pain from treatments.
Before you try a complementary therapy, it is very important to talk to your doctor about the possible value and potential side effects. Let your doctor know if you are already using any such therapies. Complementary therapies aren't meant to take the place of standard medical treatment. But they may improve your quality of life and help you deal with the stress and side effects of cancer treatment.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
October 22, 2012
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