No one wants to get sick, but everyone does. And when the illness is serious enough, it is all you can do to focus on getting better and undergo treatment. Leukemia is one such illness. For many, earning a living must be put aside for a while.
Fortunately, the Massachusetts Social Security Administration (SSA) disability system allows you to apply for benefits if you find yourself in this kind of situation. However, as New England SSA disability lawyers, we know just how difficult applying for SSA disability benefits can be when you are dealing with so much else at the same time.
What Is Leukemia?
Simply put, leukemia is a cancer that forms in the bone marrow of the body. White blood cells fight infection; but, when leukemia develops, the white blood cells are abnormal and do not function as they are supposed to. As the disease progresses, the lymphatic system can also become involved.
While leukemia can take many forms, there are four main types:
- Acute lymphoblastic
- Acute myelogenous
- Chronic lymphocytic
- Chronic myelogenous
The acute forms tend to make you feel sick right away and worsen more quickly. Chronic leukemia develops more slowly and may take a long time, years even, to cause symptoms. The lymphocytic forms of leukemia affect the type of white blood cells called lymphocytes, whereas the white blood cells called myelocytes are involved in myelogenous leukemia.
Once the diagnosis has been made, your doctors will plan your treatment. This treatment plan varies depending on the type of leukemia you have and how far it has progressed. Acute leukemia is usually treated quickly, to stop the growth of leukemia cells and optimize your chances of recovery. Chronic leukemia is less likely to be curable, but treatment can help control it.
Some of the most common treatments for leukemia include the following:
- Chemotherapy is the main treatment used. Special drugs are used to kill the defective cells.
- Radiation therapy uses X-rays to target and destroy leukemia cells. It can also be used to prepare your body for stem cell transplantation.
- Targeted therapy involves drugs that actually target specific parts of the cancer cells.
- Stem cell transplantation replaces the diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. Either donor cells or your own will be used.
- Biological therapy uses special medicines that act to stimulate your body’s natural cancer-fighting defenses.
Cancer treatments are well known for their disabling side effects and, combined with the symptoms of the disease itself, can sideline you for extended periods of time.
Get Help Applying for Disability
If you live in the New England area and have leukemia, you may want to know more about applying for SSA disability benefits. At Keefe Disability Law, we have helped many people like you.
Give us a call toll free at 888-904-6847, fill out the free case review form on this page, or order one of our free reports.