Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Treatment for 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
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • 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.

Prognosis With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Summary

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.)
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