By Omer Ural
TEKIRDAG, Turkey (AA) - High morale and motivation contribute significantly to the treatment of Leukemia patients, an expert told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
Burhan Turgut, a hematologist in Turkey's northwestern Tekirdag province, said patients suffering from the disease should not be negative towards life and should stay strong.
"Leukemia is blood cancer that emerges after blood cells in the bone marrow deteriorate," he said.
Turgut added that the health sector in Turkey has improved significantly and that operations on leukemia-related cases were handled successfully.
Noting that the common public view was that leukemia was an "incurable disease", he underlined that this was simply inaccurate. "Leukemia, or blood cancer, is not something as bad as people think [...] We should be aware of the fact that we can treat leukemia patients in our country," he added.
Stressing that positive outlooks facilitated the treatment process, he said: "Patients diagnosed, or to be diagnosed, with Leukemia must have high morale as their situation is not as bad as it sounds. Today, they are treated more efficiently than in previous years."
"If the patient has high morale, we are generally successful [in treatment]. Relatives of patients also have important roles," he said, adding that family members should support patients and reassure them that they can beat the disease.
Turgut said the number of stem cell transplants -- critical for leukemia treatment -- carried out in Turkey was among the highest in Europe.
Yakup Albayrak, a mental health expert, said patient morale was an important factor in the treatment of all kinds of diseases.
He said patients and doctors should have good relations with each other, and that a firm spirit in the patient was sure to improve the leukemia treatment process.
Stressing that morale and motivation were directly related with the human body's defense mechanism, he said: "Leukemia has a frightening name, that's a fact. But patients and their relatives must know that they should accurately follow doctors' instructions."
"As leukemia correlates with blood cells, the immune system needs to function efficiently. The higher the motivation and morale, the better the immune system operates," he said.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas