Cancer begins when your body cells begin to grow out of control in any part of your body. Leukemias are types of cancers that start in cells that normally develop into different kinds of blood cells. There are several types of leukemias. They are broadly divided into:

  • Acute leukemia (fast-growing) 
  • Chronic leukemia (slow-growing)

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is also known as acute lymphocytic leukemia. A study conducted during 2016-2020 has shown the rate of acute lymphocytic leukemia to be 1.8 per 100,000 men and women per year. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) starts in your bone marrow. It develops from immature forms of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells can invade your blood and progress quickly. They can spread to other body parts, like lymph nodes, liver, spleen, testicles (in men), and brain and spinal cord. If not treated, acute lymphoblastic leukemia can be fatal within a few months. 

Oncologists treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia with long-term chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or bone marrow transplantation. Kids and adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia may receive different types of cancer medication and treatment.

The scope of homeopathy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia management varies depending on the cancer stage and general health. One of the distressing complaints associated with cancer is the unbearable pain. In such cases, homeopathic medicines can effectively control pain without any side effects. These natural remedies help you to relax mentally and physically. Homeopathy can help in improving your general well-being and vitality.

Role of homeopathy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Homeopathic medicines can help in the management of ALL by relieving symptoms of anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. The diagnosis of cancer often leaves you with a sense of stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. The acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment may induce irritability, anxiety, and mood changes. Homeopathic medicines can help you deal with these emotions in a better way.

Top five homeopathic medicines for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Ferrum phosphoricum (Ferr-p.)

Common name: Phosphate of iron

Ferrum phos. is used to manage anemia in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These people are often pale, weak, and have frequent false flushes that appear at the slightest excitement. These people often complain of vertigo with pulsating headaches and ringing in the ears. 

Along with anemia, they have breathing difficulty, palpitations in the heart, and characteristic coldness of the body. Ferrum phos. Also works well in anemic women due to excessive bleeding during periods. 

Lachesis mutus (Lach.)

Common name: Bushmaster or Surucucu

Lachesis is used for fever in acute lymphoblastic leukemia with marked delirium. People who need Lachesis during fever have characteristic muttering and wandering delirium. Often, these people fall asleep while answering before completing their sentences. This remedy can be given in fever with ALL, where the person is full of delusions and hallucinations of being poisoned. 

Arsenic album (Ars.)

Common name: Arsenious acid

Arsenic album is recommended in cancer patients who have a cough with anxiety. It is prescribed for asthma with wheezing, coughing, and frothy mucus. These people experience a sense of suffocation while lying down.

Ars. alb. is also prescribed in shortness of breath that worsens after coughing. This medication is suited for cough that worsens at midnight, around 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. It helps with cough, which gets better after drinking warm fluids.

These people feel anxious about their health. They have a fear of disease. The fear is so intense that they believe that their death is nearing.

Ipecacuanha (Ip.)

Common name: Ipecac root

Ipecac is indicated in vomiting with intense nausea during the chemotherapy sessions. The nausea is constant, followed by vomiting of white glairy mucus, watery fluid, or sometimes yellowish or greenish colored matter or undigested food. The vomiting is often in copious quantities, with cutting or colicky abdominal pains. Often there is also a loss of appetite. 

Aconitum napellus (Acon.)

Common name: Monkshood

Aconite is a homeopathic medicine used to treat the fear of death with anxiety in cancer patients. This remedy works well in people who fear death and think that they will die soon. The fear is so intense that they often predict the day of their death.

Causes for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

The primary cause of acute lymphoblastic leukemia is mutations in your bone marrow’s genetic material or DNA. Your DNA has the instructions that tell your cells what to do. Normally, healthy DNA tells your cells to grow at a specific rate and to die after a specific time. In acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the DNA mutations tell your bone marrow cells to continue growing and dividing.

When cells grow and multiply abnormally, blood cell production gets out of control. Your bone marrow starts producing immature cells. These develop into leukemic white blood cells called lymphoblasts. These abnormal cells do not function properly, build up in your body, and obstruct your healthy cellular functions.

It’s unclear what causes the DNA mutations leading to acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, here are some factors that can increase the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia:

  • Previous cancer treatment

People who have had chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other kinds of cancer can be at increased risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

  • Radiation exposure

People exposed to very high levels of radiation, like nuclear reactor accident survivors, are at increased risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

  • Genetic conditions 

Genetic disorders like Down syndrome, Ataxia telangiectasia, Bloom syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Klinefelter syndrome, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome are linked with increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

  • Gender

Boys are more likely to develop acute lymphoblastic leukemia than girls.

  • Race

Studies have shown that children of white race are more prone to have acute lymphoblastic leukemia than kids of black race.

Symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia

The common symptom of acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the feeling of being unwell. This happens because leukemia cells in your bone marrow are in excess as compared to the normal blood cells. In addition, your body lacks sufficient mature red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. 

Here are some common symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia:

Symptoms of anemia (low red blood cell count) include:

  • Feeling fatigued
  • Breathlessness during regular physical activities 
  • Feeling dizzy 
  • Pale complexion

Symptoms of neutropenia (decrease in number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cells) include:

  • Repetitive infections
  • Frequent fever

Symptoms of thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count) include:

  • Easy bruising 
  • Minor cuts bleed for a prolonged duration 
  • Appearance of petechiae (pinhead-sized red spots) on the skin
  • Repeated epistaxis (nose bleeding)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Frequent and heavy periods in women 

Other general symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia include

  • Night sweats
  • Pain and discomfort in joints or bones
  • Pain below the ribs
  • Enlarged liver, spleen, or lymph nodes
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing 

Treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

There are several treatment options to manage acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Some common therapies are listed below.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is used as front-line treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This treatment aims at eliminating all cancer cells till your symptoms and tests show no sign of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Central nervous system-directed therapy 

This therapy kills leukemia cells in your central nervous system and prevents acute lymphoblastic leukemia from spreading to your spinal fluid.

Consolidation therapy

This begins after acute lymphoblastic leukemia remission. Consolidation therapy works by destroying remaining cancerous cells.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy focuses on specific genetic changes. The substance used in this therapy blocks an enzyme essential for acute lymphoblastic leukemia growth.

Immunotherapy

It helps your body’s immune system attack acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. 

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is recommended to treat recurrent acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells that don’t respond to chemotherapy. 

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Allogeneic stem cell (bone marrow) transplantation is recommended when other treatments fail to eliminate acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.

Diet and lifestyle changes for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Some lifestyle changes can make your life easy while managing acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Here are some tips to try.

Get good sleep

Ensure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Good sleep improves mood, memory, attention, coping ability, and overall health.

Exercise regularly 

Exercise regularly during and after cancer treatment. Exercise can help reduce fatigue, prevent weight gain, and help with weakness. Talk to your healthcare team before starting an exercise plan that is safe for you.

Eat well

A nutrient dense diet can help you manage the side effects of acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment and recover faster. It lowers the risk of cancer relapse.  

Manage your stress

Managing your stress levels can help you with physical and mental health. Try relaxation therapies like guided hypnosis, meditation, and yoga. It helps you manage stress, anxiety, fear, and depression that come along due to cancer diagnosis.

Conclusion

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is caused due to the multiplication and growth of abnormal cells in your blood and bone marrow. Several treatment options are available for acute lymphoblastic leukemia; homeopathy can be one of the effective ways. By integrating homeopathy with conventional treatments, you can live a healthy life.

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