Expert advises parents on early treatment of leukemia

Dr Omoye Osawende, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Best End Hospital Benin, Edo, has warned parents that untreated cases of leukemia in children, might lead to greater complications.

Osawende made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Tuesday.

She defined leukemia as “a cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to fight infection”.

“The exact cause of most childhood leukemias is not known and most children with leukemia do not have any known risk factors.

“Still, scientists have discovered that certain changes in the DNA inside normal bone marrow cells can cause them to grow out of control and become leukemia cells.

“Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells. Your white blood cells are potent infection fighters, they normally grow and divide in an orderly way, as your body needs them.

“Although, in people living with leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, which don’t function properly,”she said.

Osawende said that Leukemia symptoms could be vague; not specific and one may overlook the early symptoms because they might resemble the symptoms of flu and other common illnesses.

She listed some of the symptoms to include fever or chills, persistent fatigue, weakness, frequent or severe infections and weight loss.

Others, according to her, are swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen, easy bleeding or bruising, recurrent nosebleeds, tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae) and sweating, especially at night.

Omoye said anyone with such symptoms should immediately see a medical practitioner. (NAN)

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