Leukaemia in children refers to the phenomenon where enormous white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. These abnormal blood cells crowd the bone marrow and flood the bloodstream. The function of the white blood cells is to protect the body against any infection or diseases. During this phenomenon, these abnormal white blood cells malfunction and become incompetent in protecting the body against infection and other diseases.
Leukaemia is the world’s 11th most prevalent cancer and is not a novel condition in Ayurveda, as it is discussed under the topic of Raktarbud. As Leukaemia progresses in children, it interferes with the body cell production capacity i.e red blood cells and blood platelets. This results in anaemia and bleeding problems in children along with the increased risk of infection by the infected white cells.
Leukaemia affects thousands of children every year and accounts for about 25% of all childhood cancers. Leukaemia or blood cancer is generally found in children below the age of 4 years and also in teens.
Types of Leukaemia in children:
Almost all cases of Leukaemia are acute and develop rapidly.
Types of childhood Leukaemia include:
- Acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), also known as acute lymphocytic Leukaemia.
- Acute myelogenous Leukaemia (AML)
- Hybrid or mixed-lineage Leukaemia. This is rare Leukaemia with features of both ALL and AML.
- Chronic myelogenous Leukaemia (CML). CML is rare in children.
- Chronic lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL). CLL is very rare in children.
- Juvenile myelomonocytic Leukaemia (JMML). This is a rare type that is neither chronic nor acute and happens most often in children under age 4.
Symptoms of Childhood Leukaemia:
Leukaemia symptoms are noticeable and demand immediate treatment. Consulting a doctor immediately means early detection of the disease, otherwise, it can worsen. Early diagnosis can lead to early and more successful treatment.
Common symptoms of Leukaemia include:
- Fatigue or pale skin
- Infections and fever
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Extreme fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
Other symptoms may include:
- Bone or joint pain
- Swelling in the abdomen, face, arms, underarms, sides of the neck, or groin
- Swelling above the collarbone
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Headaches, seizures, balance problems, or abnormal vision
- Gum problems
Treatment of Leukaemia in children
Treatment of Leukaemia is a long and intense process, especially for children. This is because of the complications and risks associated with the disease. Children suffering from Leukaemia should get sincere treatment under a doctor’s guidance. They should be treated in cancer hospitals, with multidrug therapy. More than 60-80% of children with acute lymphatic Leukaemia are treated and cured with initial chemotherapy.
The privilege of Herbal Therapy – Medicinal herbs are safer and effective in contrast to synthetic treatment (chemotherapy and radiotherapy). They play an essential role in the treatment of cancer. In children suffering from Leukaemia, the use of complementary medicinal herbs in the early stages of cancer has fewer side effects as compared to synthetic ones.
Traditional Ayurveda physicians have successfully managed to treat cancer without causing any adverse effect to the body of the patient. Early diagnosed Leukaemia children should opt for ayurvedic treatment through natural herbal remedies. Ayurvedic Leukaemia treatment in children works much faster than in elder patients. For better results and faster treatment, a good ayurvedic physician should be consulted, especially for children.
Natural Herbs used in curing Leukaemia:
Tulsi is the most efficient and used herb in Ayurveda. Being a home remedy for almost every disease, tulsi is used in treating Leukaemia in ayurvedic treatment. The scientific name of the herb is Ocimum Sanctum. The herb has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These herbs are very effective in treating respiratory complications. It is also helpful in providing relief from headaches, cough, cold, flu, etc.
Pomegranate is an anti-cancer agent. Pomegranate juice induces apoptosis which is very beneficial for blood cells in the body. It has antioxidant properties. Evidence indicates that fruits with antioxidant properties reduce the risk of cancer, including Leukaemia. So, it is raw, or make a fresh juice out of it, makes sure that the patient’s body gets rich supplements of pomegranate.
Whole grape seeds are rich in Vitamin C, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and phenolic OPCs. Researches have proved that grape seeds indulge the infected cells to commit suicide. In other words, researchers found that within 24 hours, 76 percent of leukemic cells had died after being exposed to the extract. Studies have proved that grape seed extracts had a fatal effect on infected Leukaemia cells line and hence are very helpful in treating Leukaemia.
Garlic has an effective role in the prevention of cancer because of its extreme health benefits. Sativum has free radical activity and its direct cytotoxic effect on cancer cells, particularly Leukaemia. Its extract has a significant role in the treatment of Leukaemia in children. Garlic extracts function as an antioxidant by inhibiting the release of superoxide. Daily consumption of a garlic piece can help in Leukaemia treatment.
Hibiscus Cannabinus (Kenaf):
It contains bioactive components such as tannins, saponins, polyphenolics, alkaloids, fatty acids, phospholipids, tocopherol, and phytosterols. The seed oil of Kenaf is rich in bioactive compounds with high antioxidative and anticancer properties. Furthermore, studies confirm that Kenaf oil causes death in infected cells in Leukaemia.
There are uncountable medicinal herbs that help in treating Leukaemia in children, but only a few are widely known and used. The above-mentioned herbs are really helpful in Leukaemia treatment, especially in children. Studies suggested that herbal medicines have great potential in combating Leukaemia. Yet, a proper doctor’s guidance is necessary for curing the disease at an early stage. Consult an ayurvedic doctor for early treatment with lesser side effects.