Leukemia and the Role of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists

With leukemia being one of the common cancers that most people are aware of it comes with many different challenges and difficulties, a lot of them dealing with how the body is affected but as well with this disease there are many fast paced changes within. With the help of OT’s and PT’s professions it is optimistic that there is a positive change waiting to happen within.

What is leukemia? You might ask, well by definition leukemia is “Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream”.

(“NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms”, n.d.) this type of cancer can affect anyone no matter what age or gender, but leukemia is a disease that is not taken lightly and needs to be treated as soon as possible for a better outcome.

As many know leukemia comes with many different symptoms due to the disease.

Some of these symptoms tend to be very harsh on the patient’s body, as there are many different side-affects. Some of the side-affects may include “fever chills, persistent fatigue weakness, frequent of severe infections, losing weight without trying, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen, easily bleeding or bruising, recurrent nose bleeds, tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae), excessive sweating especially at night, and bone pain or tenderness (“Leukemia – Symptoms and causes”, n.d.) All of these symptoms could potentially happen to a person with the disease of leukemia.

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Widely known, is the treatment many patients endure during having this awful disease of leukemia, and the many side-affects the treatment may or may not have on the body. An example of popular treatment to this day would be chemotherapy which by definition means “In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically kills microbes or tumor cells. The term chemotherapy was coined in this regard by Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915)”.

This treatment is as one of the many treatments as may be tough on the body but is known to be effective thus far. In saying this this treatment has many effects on the body for example many people undergo hair loss within treatment due to the fact this type of drug makes the hair thin out. Another example of how this treatment may be hard on the body is many patients may become feeling ill and have really bad nausea making them feel extremely weak most of their days. The last example is many have problems with loss of appetite causing them to lose major weight, being tired, weak and potentially making everything for difficult within their daily lives. This alone shows how much it has its effects on the body.

Furthermore, as there are treatments you can endure with this disease many people are unaware or even just scared about some of the long-term effects it may have on their bodies. For example, the treatment could lead to many other things such as fertility problems, different types of cancer eventually, lung problems, cataract, fatigue (easier), aren’t able to keep infections away (body cannot fight them off), heart problems, thyroid problems, memory and concentration, and osteoporosis. Those are just a few of the long term affects it could be having on the body future to getting this treatment, so in means needing to think about not just in the present how it is effecting the body but also In the future post getting the treatments.

Another example of an effect it may have is the emotional factors. As there are many may know cancer patients deal with a lot of emotions during treatment or being diagnosed. These emotions can be shared by family, friends, and anyone who is potentially close to the patient. These can emotions can range in many different ways as with anything people go through many different stages. For example, an emotion a patient may have when recieveing this treatment or being diagnosed may be shocked thinking “why would this happen to me?” the moment no one wants to hear their doctor saying that they are diagnosed with cancer.

Another example of an emotion a patient may go through is the anxiety of it all not knowing what is going on, what will happen, and when it will happen causing much stress on the patient on top of what they are already going through. Lastly an example would be isolation they don’t want to talk to anyone about it or being in public may make them not feel the best about them-selves all they want is for them to be left alone. All these emotions have many effects on the body both positively and negatively.

In otherwards, as many patients may not know OT’s and PT’s play a big role within the treatment of many patients with cancer. They play such a big role because when patients are going through this treatment a lot of them become weak and have bone loss due to the fact of loss of appetite, in this certain example the OT’s and PT’s would help this patient gain strength that they have lost from not eating and bone loss. Therapy’s that may be used are physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, auriculotherapy and manual therapy helping patients to get back the strength they have lost through treatment.

The biggest therapy would be physical therapy which in deffintions means “Physical therapy: As part of your cancer treatment, our physical therapists may help you design an individualized exercise program that combines range-of-motion training with light resistance exercises. These therapeutic exercises aim to reduce fatigue and improve physical function, safety and well-being”. (rehabilitation, n.d.) this is big treatment because you are working side by side with the patient helping them with the effects the treatment such as chemotherapy may have had on the body within the time.

In conclusion as evident in the last few paragraphs leukemia has many effects on the body that most people don’t even know or think about. Some of the following include the treatment the patients have to go through on a day to day basis, how the treatment may affect the patient in the future, as well as how occupational and physiotherapists play a big role within people getting better. This is few of the way’s leukemia affects the body not only physically for the patient but mentally as well, so when you’re thinking on this topic just remember one thing that the patient is being affected in more than just one way.

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Leukemia and the Role of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. (2023, Jan 10). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/leukemia-and-the-role-of-occupational-therapists-and-physiotherapists/

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