Health Sciences

Significance of early diagnosis in leukemia treatment

Assist. Prof. Dr. Mine Bahçeci,  Lecturer in the Department of Nursing of Cyprus International University (CIU) School of Health Sciences, speaking within the scope of November 2nd -8th  Children's Leukemia Week, noted that this disease is preventable, its treatment is long, but it has an 80% chance of recovery in childhood and 60-80% in adults.
Bahçeci stated that the exact cause of leukemia is not known and shared the information that cancer-causing foods, drugs or chemicals, psychological shock and depression, all devices that emit radiation and some viruses are likely prepare the environment for the formation of leukemia.

Stating that people diagnosed with leukemia may have different symptoms, Bahçeci said that these generally include loss of appetite, pallor, weight loss, weakness, bruises or red spots on the legs or body, bleeding in the nose and gums, visual impairment, enlarged liver and spleen, enlarged lymph nodes, unexplained fever, joint and bone pain.

Bahçeci also said that leukemia can be diagnosed with relevant tests and that chemotherapy, radiotherapy and intrathecal administration  are applied during the treatment process.

Furthermore, Bahçeci mentioned that in some types of leukemia bearing different characteristics, primary and booster treatments can be followed by stem cell transplantation, and that in some cases, only primary treatments are sufficient.

Bahçeci emphasized that leukemia treatment requires expensive and long-term treatment, however, early diagnosis of the disease is very important in curing the disease.

Bahçeci pointed out that non-governmental organizations have made great contributions to this process, and it should not be put into oblivion  that in North Cyprus “Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation for Children with Leukemia and the Fight Against Cancer” is an important organization that raises public awareness about cancer and provides financial and moral support to children and their families struggling with this disease. .

Reminding that the Foundation has a bone marrow donor archive and has been organizing the "Educational Seminar Series on Cancer for Young Generations" since 2002, Bahçeci noted that all these studies are organized regularly every year in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education and Culture, the Ministry of Health and the Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation.

Bahçeci also pointed out the importance of “Children's Leukemia Week” and said that the necessary epidemiological studies should be carried out in countries struggling with leukemia, separate units specific to pediatric oncology should be fully equipped, the continuity and quality of cooperation between foundations and health care institutions should be carried out as well as raising public awareness activities. She also underlined that it is an issue that is too important to be dwelt on in just a week.