Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of blood and bone marrow cancer – the spongy tissue in the bones where blood cells are made.
The term “chronic” in chronic lymphocytic leukemia comes from the fact that it usually progresses more slowly than other types of leukemia. The term “lymphocytes” in chronic lymphocytic leukemia comes from cells affected by the disease – a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes that help your body fight infections.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia most commonly affects the elderly. Treatments are available to control the disease. Leukemia, chronic lymphocytic Treatment in Hyderabad
Many people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia do not have early symptoms. Those who develop signs and symptoms may experience:
- Enlarged but painless lymph nodes
- Pain in the upper left part of the abdomen that may be caused by an enlarged spleen
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Doctors aren’t sure what starts the process that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. What we do know is that something is happening that causes a genetic mutation in the DNA of blood cells. This mutation causes blood cells to produce abnormal and ineffective lymphocytes.
In addition to being ineffective, these abnormal lymphocytes continue to live and multiply while normal lymphocytes die. Abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in the blood and in certain organs and cause complications there. They can crowd out healthy cells in the bone marrow and interfere with normal blood cell production.
Doctors and researchers are working to understand the exact mechanism that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Leukemia, chronic lymphocytic Treatment in Hyderabad
Factors that can increase your risk of developing chronic lymphocytic leukemia include:
- Your age. This disease is most common in the elderly. On average, people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia are over 60 years old.
- Your race. Whites are more likely to develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia than people of other races.
- Family history of blood and bone marrow cancer. A family history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia or other cancers of the blood and bone marrow may increase your risk.
- Exposure to chemicals. Certain herbicides and insecticides, including the active ingredient orange used during the Vietnam War, have been linked to an increased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia can lead to complications such as:
- Frequent infections. Common infections can occur in people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In most cases, these infections are common upper and lower respiratory infections. However, sometimes more serious infections can develop.
- A shift to a more aggressive form of cancer. A small number of people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia can develop a more aggressive form of cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Doctors sometimes call it Richter syndrome. Leukemia, chronic lymphocytic Treatment in Hyderabad