Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells that help the body to fight infection. These blood cells form in the bone marrow. In leukaemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. In chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), there are too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. CLL is the second most common type of leukaemia in adults. It often occurs during or after middle age and is rare in children.
HOW IS CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA DIAGNOSED?
A complete blood picture is the best way to analyse this condition. There can be several types of blood tests then conducted to further investigate which may include fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and others. Bone marrow biopsy and imaging tests are also conducted.
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?
CLL does not cause any signs or symptoms and is found during a routine blood test. However, the signs and symptoms found are
• Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin.
• Feeling very tired.
• Pain or fullness below the ribs.
• Fever and infection.
• Weight loss for no known reason.