Hairy-cell Leukemia is a rare, slow-growth cancer that affects the blood. Due to this disease the blood produced by the bone marrow contains too many lymphocytes. These cells look hairy under the microscope, hence the name Hairy-cell Leukemia. Symptoms are:
• A feeling of fullness in abdomen
• Easy bruising
• Recurring infections
• Weight loss
HOW IS HAIRY-CELL LEUKEMIA DIAGNOSED?
During a physical exam, the doctor may be able to feel a swollen spleen or liver. An abdominal CT scan or ultrasound may be done to evaluate this swelling. A complete blood count usually shows low levels of white and red blood cells, as well as platelets. Blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy can detect hairy cells
HOW IS HAIRY-CELL LEUKEMIA TREATED?
This type of cancer progresses very slowly, hence treatment may not be needed. If the disease shows symptoms, then treatment is needed. Chemotherapy is the first line of treatment. Biological treatments make the cancer cells more familiar to your immune system, so that they can be destroyed easily. Spleen may be removed through surgery in case of rupturing.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hairy-cell leukaemia affects more males than females and occurs mostly in people who are middle-aged or older.