Leukemia

Recovery & Follow Up

Follow up care during recovery from leukemia treatment is an important part of the overall treatment plan. Regular checkups ensure that any changes in health are noted. The doctor can find problems and treat them as soon as possible. Checkups may include a careful physical exam, blood tests, x-rays, bone marrow aspiration, or spinal tap. The doctor can explain the followup plan—how often the patient must visit the doctor and what tests are needed.

Leukemia and leukemia treatment can lead to other health problems. Patients receive supportive care to prevent or control these problems and to improve their comfort and quality of life during their leukemia treatment.

Because people with leukemia get infections very easily, they may receive antibiotics and other drugs to help protect them from infections. The health care team may advise them to stay away from crowds and from people with colds and other contagious diseases. If an infection develops, it can be serious and should be treated promptly. Patients may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.

Anemia and bleeding are other problems that often require supportive care. Patients may need transfusions of red blood cells to help them have more energy. Platelet transfusions can help reduce the risk of serious bleeding.

Dental care also is very important. Leukemia and chemotherapy can make the mouth sensitive, easily infected, and likely to bleed. Doctors often advise patients to have a complete dental exam and, if possible, undergo needed dental care before chemotherapy begins. Dentists show patients how to keep their mouth clean and healthy during leukemia treatment.

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