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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is one of the most common types of adult leukemia, usually affecting individuals who are more than 50 years of age.

Synonyms: Chronic lymphoid leukemia, prolymphocytic leukemia, T-cell chronic Lymphocytic leukemia, hairy- cell leukemia.


Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is one of the four main types of cancer that affects the blood and the bone marrow. It is referred to as 'chronic' leukemia as its progression is very slow, unlike the acute variety. It is 'Lymphocytic' leukemia because it affects a type of white blood cells, called Lymphocytes.

CLL is a malignancy that leads to the proliferation of B-cell lymphocytes in the bone marrow and blood. Along with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), CLL is one of the most common types of adult leukemia. The affected individuals are usually more than 50 years of age. It is prevalent in Europe and North America and is a rarity in Southeast Asia and Japan, which points to the possible role of inheritance in its development.

Blood Cells formation in the Bone Marrow: Normally, the immature stem cells in the bone marrow mature and multiply into different blood cells according to the requirement. When these cells die, new ones replace them. This continuous cycle gets disturbed in people who have CLL. It begins with a change in a precursor lymphocyte cell, transforming it into a malignant one. This malignant cell multiplies and populates the bone marrow, replacing the normal lymphocytes. The leukemic cells are unable to fight infections the way normal lymphocytes do and this makes the affected individuals prone to several life–threatening conditions.

Ten years ago, waiting and monitoring was the favorite mode of management. With the advent of new diagnostic tests and medications, there has been a significant difference in the understanding of CLL. It is now realized that CLL is unpredictable. It may become aggressive in some or may progress differently in others. There is a need, therefore, for the affected persons to be handled individually.


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My dad has been just diagnosed with cll. He is 65 yrs old, a smoker for about 50yrs. now. He said he has not felt right for about 4-5yrs. said he knew something was wrong. His white blood cell count is 280,000 and still fighting shingles. What is his prognosis?
jen71 Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I'm 48 years old and have had 7 heart attacks in the last 14 years along with 12 stents. Recently I was diagnosed with stage 4 CLL. Can you give me any ideas on life expectancy?
dazedandconfused Monday, April 23, 2012
my mother is diagnosed with CLL, 63 is the count of platelets and 112400 of wbc what are te chances
saba_mother Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Is CLL hereditary?
wanda Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Yes, my doctor told me it was. I have CLL and my brother and sister has it.
John66 Friday, January 11, 2013
svanecek Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I have CLL with itching (pruritus), which was extremely severe at onset, but continued at a lower level after chemo therapy. Antihistamines are totally useless in treating it. Does anyone else have this complication, and if so, had a treatment that controlled it? Thanks.
shergald Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I am in W and W and am really suffering from pruritus [itching]. I've seen a many specialist (derm, chiro, allergist, family physician, accupunture, etc.) and no one is able to relieve it. I scratch myself raw -

I am anxious for treatment just for some relief from this.

guest Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I have HIVES every month, for last 3 years, documented occurance for 2 years, blood test revealed CLL...But Onc states has nothing to do with IT. On Rituxan for last year, hives have decreased in quanity, intensity . Will be stoppin g Rituxan in two months and scared..use of Epipen, Ativan and IM Bendryl. Hospital ER visits via ambulance several times and costly, for I can manage this at home, due to experience and many times dealing with.
donnawhite Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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