Worldwide, many people die each year due to cancer, the number of cases increased between 1975 and2000 and should duplicate again between 2000 and 2020. In 2030, cancer is expected to kill 17 million people, against the 7.6 million deaths in 2007. Among children ,the pediatric cancer, in most cases, leukemia ,represents between 0.5% and 3% of all tumors in most populations 1.Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. Most blood cells form inside the bone marrow.
In leukemia, immature blood cells become cancer. These cells do not function properly and they infiltrate in the bone marrow (National Cancer Institute, 2018). The disease was first identified in the mid-19th century when different researchers described a common pathology caused by abnormalities of the white blood cells (Polychronakis et al., 2013) coined in German from Greek leukos ‘white’ + haima ‘blood’. hence the term “Leukemia” which originates from the Greek words “Leuko” (white) and “Haema” (blood).(Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2018).Clinical presentation of leukemia may be similar to other severe illnesses.
Specific hematological tests are needed to achieve a diagnosis. symptoms and Signs vary based on the type of leukemia. For acute leukemia, they consist of: fatigue, dyspnea on mild exertion, skin pallor. Mild fever or night sweats, poor wound healing and bleeding tendency.
Ecchymosis or bruisesof undefined etiology.(Lls.org, 2018).Some factors may increase the chance of developing the illness, including: Sex, age, genetics, certain genetic disorders such as Down syndrome may play a role in the pathogenies of leukemia.life style, Smoking,Viral infections, Exposure to high radiation,chemical or industrial chemicals like benzene, petroleum products, paints, certain pesticides and heavy metals, over a long period of time.
(DiPiro et al., 2011)Diagnosis is usually based on repetitive complete blood counts and a bone marrow examination following observations of the symptoms. Sometimes, blood tests may not prove that a person has leukemia, especially in the early stages of the disease or during remission.
Blood chemistry tests can be used to decide the degree of liver and kidney damage or the effects of chemotherapy on the patient. Imaging techniques such as, X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound can be used to evaluate the extent of the disease. CT scans can be used to check lymph nodes in the chest, though this is rare.
Despite the advance in the laboratory field using new technologry to diagnose leukaemia, many patients have not been identified because many of the symptoms are unclear, non-specific, and can refer to other diseases. For this reason, the American Cancer Society estimates that at least one-fifth of the people with leukaemia have not yet been diagnosed.(STAYWELLWORLD | Health | Worldwide, 2018)Leukemia is the universal term for some different types of blood cancer.
There are four major types of leukemia called: Acute lymphoblastic (lymphocytic) leukemia (ALL), Acute myeloid (myelogenous) leukemia (AML),Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL),Chronic myeloid (myelogenous) leukemia (CML).(DiPiro, 2011)It is important to know that patients are affected and treated differently for each leukemia type . (Lls.org, 2018) There are several methods used to treat leukemia. Depending on the patient’s condition and illness type, appropriate treatment is taken.
Some of the most commonly used treatments are:Chemotherapy: (hydroxyurea, bosulfan, eutoposide, glyvik, tasenga, donurubicin) and other cancerous methods. Radiotherapy: The patient is exposed to radiation to destroy the cancer cells. Bone Marrow Transplant Blood transfusion: to treat this anemia and treat bleeding. Antiviral drugs and interferon. Targeted therapy – drugs which specially distinguish and destroy leukaemia cells .Biological therapy – treatments which use the immune system to wipe out leukaemia cells.
(Therapy, 2018)Some patients who have leukaemia do not initiate treatment straight away. If patients are not being treated they have regular check-up. This is known as “watch and wait” or “active monitoring”. This is mainly appropriate for patients with CLL. Almost all patients with CML or with acute leukaemia will start treatment presently after diagnosis.
Some patients with CLL will never need to receive treatment for their leukaemia. (Campbell and Campbell, n.d.)Although patients on watch and wait do not have to contract with side effects of treatment, it can be an extremely anxious time. If this apply to you it is important to let your healthcare team know, as they can offer reassurance and support.Acute leukaemia is often curable with standard treatments. Chronic leukaemia is usually not curable, but treatable.
Although most patients with chronic leukaemia have a good primary response to treatment the condition will sometimes come back, this is known as a relapse and it can usually be treated again, using related treatments which used the first time. (Musgrave, 2005)The success of treatment depends on the age of the person and the type of leukemia. Outcome have improved in the developed world(Stewart, 2014) Stock, 2010In average five-year survival rate is 57% in the United States(Seer.
cancer.gov, 2018) In children under 15, the five-year survival rate is greater than 60 to 85%, depending on the type of leukemia.(Cancer.org, 2018) In children with acute leukemia who are cancer-free after five years, the cancer is improbable to return.(Cancer.
org, 2018) Leukemia occurs more frequently in the developed world (Stewart, 2014). around 44,270 new cases of leukemia were diagnosed in the year 2008 in the US (Lls.org, 2018)This represents 2.9% of all cancers (without simple basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers) in the United States, and 30.
4% of all blood cancers.(Seer.cancer.gov, 2018) Men are more than women diagnosed with leukemia and die from the disease. Around 30 percent more men than women have leukemia (Lls.
org, 2018)Overall, leukaemia is the eleventh mainly common cancer in the UK (around 8,600 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2011), and it is the ninth mainly common cause of cancer death (around 4,800 people died in 2012)(Cancer Research UK, 2018)Leukaemia ranked fifth among males females adult, there were 454 cases accounted to 5.9% of all cancer cases diagnosed among Saudi nationals in 2014 Leukaemia affected 251 (55.28%) males and 203 (44.
71%) females . The three regions with the highest ASR in males were Northern region, followed by Riyadh region and Eastern. In females, regions with the highest ASR were Riyadh region, then Jouf region, then Tabuk region (Chs.gov.sa, 2018)In this study, we aim to know how well the Saudi people know about leukemia and their attitude towards diagnosed patients .
It is necessary to recognize the life’s reality of patients and their families: a family organization, the quality of relationships, the limits of understand the situation, the role of the sick person in the family, the impact to the work activities of potential care givers ,housing conditions and the family income. Finally, to understand the complexity that is to have a seriously ill to care, especially when the conditions of life and work are precarious 20.