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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

more about Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • Leukemia is a cancer of the cells that produce blood products. Lymphocytes are specific blood components involved with fighting infection (by producing Proteins called globulins or antibodies). Chronic lymphocytic Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood-cell-producing line in the bone marrow where lymphocytes originate. As the name "chronic" implies, this disease progresses slowly.

  • Usually occurs in those above 50 years old
  • Fatigue
  • Enlarged lymph glands
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged spleen

  • Unknown

  • Laboratories:
    1. Elevated white blood cell count (usually above 20,000)
    2. Manual blood differential (looking under a microscope) shows small and immature lymphocytes.
    3. Low gamma globulin levels (lower antibody level) may occur.
    4. Bone marrow biopsy shows infiltration with small lymphocytes. In addition, special testing is done on the bone marrow sample.

  • Early disease -- usually no treatment
  • Later disease

- Chlorambucil (a chemotherapy medication)

  • Bone marrow transplant in the rare, young patient may be considered

  • Even though this is a type of cancer, many individuals live years with the disease because it tends to progress slowly. How long someone lives usually depends on how much the disease has spread.

more about Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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