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What is the treatment for Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia?

Q: What is the treatment of ALL (Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) and how long does it take? Till what % it is curable? I have been diagnosed to have this disease. I am 25 years of age and I am on the 5th cycle of maintenance. I would like to know how will I be after my course of 2 years; will I be as normal a person as others? Will I have any side effect? Can I marry, will my married life be fine?

A:Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is potentially curable. The treatment of ALL requires induction chemotherapy for four weeks. The chances of controlling ALL in adults at the end four weeks of induction chemotherapy is about 80-90%. This is followed by brain radiotherapy and then four more weeks of consolidation therapy with different drugs. This is followed by two and a half years of maintenance chemotherapy and intermittent consolidation. The chance of cure of ALL in adults is 40%. For patients who relapse, bone marrow transplantation is carried out. The only difficult part of treatment is first four weeks during which hospitalisation, blood and platelet transfusion is required. Once complete remission is achieved, rest of the treatment is not difficult. The cured patients lead a normal life. They can get married and have normal relationships.

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