Hairy Cell Leukemia Treatment by Stage

Unlike most other forms of cancer, there are no stages used to measure the extent of hairy cell leukemia. So rather than break down hairy cell leukemia treatment by stage, the following article describes treatment based on how the cancer is actually classified. Hairy cell leukemia may be classified as untreated, progressive, relapsed, or refractory.

Hairy Cell Leukemia Treatment by Stage: An Overview

Unlike most other types of cancer, there are no stages used to express the extent of the disease. Instead, hairy cell leukemia treatment options will depend on how the disease is classified. While stages are not used to measure the progression of hairy cell leukemia, cases of the disease fall into one of the following groups:
  • Untreated hairy cell leukemia
  • Progressive hairy cell leukemia
  • Relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukemia.
Untreated Hairy Cell Leukemia
In untreated hairy cell leukemia, treatment may not be needed if the patient's blood cell counts are not too low and there are no symptoms. However, the patient will be carefully watched for changes in his or her condition. If blood cell counts become too low or symptoms appear, initial treatment may include chemotherapy or splenectomy.
Progressive Hairy Cell Leukemia
Treatment for progressive hairy cell leukemia may include:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Splenectomy.
Relapsed or Refractory Hairy Cell Leukemia
Treatment of relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukemia may include chemotherapy or biological therapy.
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