Leukemia

Ravneet Grewal, MD -  - Board Certified Medical Oncologist

Virginia Cancer Care

Ravneet Grewal, MD

Board Certified Medical Oncologist located in Reston, VA & Leesburg, VA

Since 1960, the survival rate for those diagnosed with leukemia has more than quadrupled. Dr. Ravneet Grewal, an award-winning, board-certified medical oncologist at Virginia Cancer Care, provides the latest, most comprehensive care and treatment options available. With locations in Reston and Leesburg, Virginia, Dr. Grewal and her team create individualized, state-of-the-art treatment plans for your specific type of leukemia, to help you successfully manage this form of blood cancer. Call either office location or schedule a consultation online.

Leukemia Q & A

What is leukemia?

Leukemia is the most common form of cancer for children and teens. This blood cancer involves your bone marrow and lymphatic system, affects the early blood-forming cells in your body, and most often includes your white blood cells. Some forms of leukemia are fast-growing (acute), whereas other types are slow-growing (chronic).

Acute Leukemia

With this disease, you develop abnormal blood cells that cannot perform their normal functions. These cells multiply rapidly, making this form of the disease rather aggressive, requiring effective treatment as soon as possible.

Chronic Leukemia

Chronic leukemia typically involves mature blood cells that replicate slowly and often function normally at first. Your body produces either too few or too many cells. Chronic leukemia may go unnoticed and undiagnosed for years because it produces no obvious early signs or symptoms.

What are the symptoms of leukemia?

With chronic leukemia, you may not notice any signs at all, whereas acute leukemia is typically more noticeable and produces the following symptoms:

  • Fever and chills
  • Pain and tenderness in your bones
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bruises and bleeding
  • Nosebleeds
  • Persistent Infections
  • Excessive sweating

As these symptoms may also be an indication of another health condition, it’s important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.

How is leukemia diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Grewal may first conduct a physical exam and order blood tests to determine if you have abnormal levels of red or white blood cells, or platelets.

She may also request a bone marrow test. First, a long needle is inserted into your hip to remove a small bone marrow sample. Then, after the cells are analyzed, we determine which form of leukemia you have and creates a customized treatment plan to discuss with you.

Common treatments for leukemia often include:

  • Oral vs intravenous chemotherapy to kill abnormal cells
  • Biological therapy to help your immune system identify and attack abnormal cells
  • Radiation therapy to damage abnormal cells and inhibit their growth
  • Stem cell transplants to replace diseased bone marrow

If you suspect that you or a family member have leukemia, the earlier you seek expert care from the team of oncology experts at Virginia Cancer Care, the more treatment options are available. Call the Leesburg or Reston office, or schedule an appointment using the online system.