What happens after you reach India for AML treatment?
The treatment of acute myeloid leukemia starts with an appointment with a specialist. The doctor will evaluate all the signs, symptoms, and medical history of the patient.
Duration: 1 or 2 days
First Bone marrow biopsy and blood tests
The doctor recommends a bone marrow biopsy to calculate the percentage of blasts. During the procedure, the doctor will numb the area around the hip bone and inject a needle to collect a sample of bone marrow. The sample is sent to the laboratory, where a pathologist examines it for any possible abnormalities.
Along with a bone marrow biopsy, the patient will also undergo various types of blood cells like CBC, Blood chemistry test, coagulation test, etc.
Duration: 5 to 7 days
Induction chemotherapy marks the first phase of the treatment. It is an intensive procedure that lasts for a short time. It targets the blasts present in the body and aims to reduce them to a normal range.
Type of procedure: In-patient
Duration: 2 weeks
Second Bone marrow Biopsy
After the induction phase is over, a second bone marrow biopsy is conducted. It helps to identify the success of the initial treatment and the need for a bone marrow transplant.
- High-risk AML: If the doctor detects no significant change in the number of blasts, the patient is advised to opt for a bone marrow transplant.
- Low-risk AML: If there is a significant reduction in the number of blasts, the patient is selected for the next phase of chemotherapy.
Duration: 5 to 7 days
The therapy aims to kill the remaining small percentage of blasts in the bone marrow. It is given in cycles with a rest period in between so that the body can recover. Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) involves additional maintenance chemotherapy stretching from months to years after consolidation.
Type of procedure: Out-patient
Duration: 3 to 4 months
A bone marrow transplant involves the transfer of cells from the donor to the recipient. It can be autologous or allogenic, depending on the source of bone marrow cells. The steps involved in the procedure are:
- The doctor numbs the area around the hip region and injects a syringe into the pelvic bone.
- The bone marrow is aspirated through the needle, and the sample is sent to the laboratory.
- The processed sample is infused back into the patient’s body after a round of chemotherapy.
Type of procedure: Can be in-patient or out-patient
Duration: 7 to 10 days
The doctor may prescribe specific medication or drugs as a part of post-treatment care and recovery. Basic routine tests are conducted to define the next phase of the treatment, if necessary.