Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment options will depend on factors such as:
- The chronic lymphocytic leukemia stage (see CLL Treatment by Stage)
- Red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet blood counts
- Whether the liver, spleen, or lymph nodes are larger than normal
- The response to initial treatment
- Whether the cancer has recurred (come back)
- Whether there are symptoms, such as fever, chills, or weight loss.
Specific treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting
- Radiation therapy
- Monoclonal antibody therapy.
Choosing the most appropriate treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a decision that ideally involves the affected person, the family, and the healthcare team.
A person's chronic lymphocytic leukemia prognosis (chance of recovery) will depend on factors such as:
- Whether there is a change in the DNA and the type of change, if there is one
- Whether lymphocytes are spread throughout the bone marrow
- The stage of chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Whether the disease gets better with treatment or has recurred
- The person's general health
- Whether the chronic lymphocytic leukemia progresses to lymphoma or prolymphocytic leukemia.
Key information about chronic lymphocytic leukemia includes the following:
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes
- Examples of risk factors for chronic lymphocytic leukemia include having a family history of the disease and being middle-aged or older, male, or Caucasian.
- Possible signs of chronic lymphocytic leukemia include swollen lymph nodes and tiredness
- Tests that examine the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes are used to detect and diagnose chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Factors that affect treatment options and prognosis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia include such things as the stage of the cancer and whether it has recurred
- The American Cancer Society estimated that 10,020 Americans would be diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2006.
(Click CLL Statistics for more facts.)