Hairy Cell Leukemia

Stages of Hairy Cell Leukemia

Staging is the process that is used to determine how far the cancer has spread. However, there is no standard staging system for hairy cell leukemia. Instead, the disease is grouped as:
  • Untreated
  • Progressive
  • Refractory.
(Click Hairy Cell Leukemia Stages for more information.)

Treatment for Hairy Cell Leukemia

A person's treatment options may depend on factors such as:
  • Whether the spleen is swollen
  • Whether there are symptoms of leukemia, such as infection
  • Whether the leukemia has recurred (come back) after previous treatment
  • The number of hairy cells and healthy blood cells in the blood and bone marrow.


(Click Hairy Cell Leukemia Treatment for more information.)


Prognosis for Hairy Cell Leukemia

The prognosis of hairy cell leukemia will depend on whether the hairy cell leukemia:
  • Does not grow
  • Grows so slowly it does not need treatment
  • Responds to treatment.
Treatment often results in a long-lasting remission (a period during which some or all of the signs and symptoms are gone). If the leukemia returns after it has been in remission, additional treatment often causes another remission.

Key Points to Keep in Mind

Key information about hairy cell leukemia includes the following:
  • Hairy cell leukemia is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes
  • Gender and age may affect the risk of developing hairy cell leukemia
  • Possible signs of hairy cell leukemia include tiredness, infections, and pain below the ribs
  • Tests that examine the blood and bone marrow are used to detect and diagnose the disease
  • Examples of factors that may affect treatment include whether the spleen is swollen, whether there are possible symptoms, and whether the hairy cell leukemia has recurred.
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Hairy Cell Leukemia Cancer

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