It is the most common type of Leukemia in adults. It affects B Cell lymphocytes, which originate in the bone marrow, develops in the lymph nodes and normally fights infection by producing antibodies. Most people are diagnosed without symptoms as the result of a routine blood test that returns a high white blood cell count. Less commonly it may present with enlarged lymph nodes without a high WBC count or no evidence of the disease in blood. In some individuals, the disease comes to light only after the neoplastic cells overwhelm the bone marrow resulting in anemia producing tiredness or weakness
HOW IS CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA DIAGNOSED?
The Oncologist will conduct a blood test for a complete blood cell count as well as the type of lymphocytes that have been affected. Also, the doctor will look for genetic anomalies. Imaging tests like a CT scan will be conducted along with a bone marrow biopsy.
HOW IS CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA TREATED?
The treatment focuses on controlling the disease and its symptoms rather than on an outright cure. It is treated by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy or bone marrow transplantation. Symptoms are sometimes treated surgically or by radiation therapy. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be considered as a means of treatment.
DID YOU KNOW?
The chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is so called because this type of cancer progresses slowly when compared to other types of cancers.