Sometimes for a variety of reasons, leukemia may not be treated, but rather we treat the symptoms of the disease. For example, if the patient is feeling severely tired because of anemia, we can transfuse red blood cells. If a patient develops infections due to low white blood cells, we can treat those infections with antibiotics, or if a patient develops bleeding or bruising because of low platelet counts, we can transfuse platelets. This type of approach is called supportive care. Without treatment leukemia leads to severe anemia, infections or bleeding, all of which can be lethal.
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