Chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to kill leukaemia cells or slow their growth. There are protocols that set out how much and how often to have particular chemotherapy drugs. You can find information about protocols at eviq.org.au, although your haematologist may need to tailor the drugs to your individual situation. For AML, there are usually two phases of high-dose chemotherapy (see below).
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Treatment for AML is usually given in two phases: induction and consolidation. People who are not well enough for the intensive chemotherapy of the induction phase may be offered low-dose drug therapy instead.
|Induction chemotherapy||Consolidation chemotherapy|
The drugs will mainly kill fast-growing cells, such as leukaemia cells. However, other fast-growing cells, such as hair follicles, blood cells, and cells inside the mouth or bowel, can also be affected.
This can cause side effects such as:
- hair loss
- increased risk of infection
- mouth ulcers
It’s taken me a number of years to get my stamina back to where I feel like I’m not constantly lacking energy. That’s something I’ll have to deal with for a while, but at least I’m healthy now.
Video: What is chemotherapy?
Dr Anoop Enjeti, Senior Staff Specialist Haematologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, The University of Newcastle; Ray Araullo, Deputy Head, Social Work Department, Royal North Shore Hospital; Shehaan Fernando, Consumer; Narelle Greentree, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hunter Haematology Unit, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Karen Maddock, Haematology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Westmead Hospital; Melanie Sexton, Consumer; Dr Jonathan Sillar, Haematology Registrar, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Fellow,The University of Newcastle.
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Learn more about how chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.
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