Phases of treatment
As we discussed, the earlier treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is categorized in three different stages. The purpose of each phase is different than the other.
It is the first stage of treatment. This therapy aims to destroy the cancerous cells as many as possible to achieve a reduction in their number present in the bone marrow or blood. This therapy goes for 4 to 6 weeks, and in remission process symptoms of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia are eliminated, and blood cells return to their normal level in the blood.
This therapy is the second stage, and it is also known as intensification. This therapy is given in cycles and lasts for 4 to 6 months. This therapy aims to prevent cancer from reoccurring by destroying any residual cancerous cells present in the body.
The primary goal of maintenance therapy is todestroy cancerous cells that escape the first two therapies and continues to live. This is done to prevent CLL relapse. This therapy continues for almost two years.
The treatment therapies can also be focused on the central nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord. Cancers cells can hide in these areas of the body, and chemotherapy cannot reach these areas, so this is done to destroy the hidden cells. Return or relapse of leukemia is caused by these hidden leukemia cells.
Unlike these therapies, some of the other treatments that are used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia does not divide into stages. Doctors use these treatments continuously until the disease is cured or period depends upon the capacity of the patient to tolerate the treatment. If leukemia returns, the treatment can be changed or restarted.