CLL is usually diagnosed with blood tests because the cancerous cells are easily found in the blood. A bone marrow biopsy is usually not needed to diagnose CLL, but it may be done before beginning treatment. A bone marrow aspiration removes a sample of fluid with a needle. Those who do develop signs and symptoms may experience: Enlarged, but painless, lymph nodes. Fatigue. Fever. Pain in the upper left portion of the abdomen, which may be caused by an enlarged spleen. Night sweats. Weight loss. Frequent infections. Because it takes time for the cells to start dividing, this test usually takes weeks to complete. Normal human cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, but sometimes CLL cells have chromosome changes that can be seen under the microscope. When a person has lymphocytic leukemia, white blood cells become leukemia cells, which can spread into the blood and other parts of the body. CLL happens when white blood cells do not fully mature. They cannot fight infection properly, and they build up in the bone marrow. For the peripheral blood smear, a sample of blood is looked at under the microscope. Changes in the numbers and the appearance of different types of blood cells often help diagnose leukemia.
Rai, MD, was determined to figure out why some of his patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) died within 2 years after their diagnosis, while others lived for 20 or even 30 years. At the time, Dr. Rai was a young scientist doing research in leukemia at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can rarely be cured. Still, most people live with the disease for many years. Some people with CLL can live for years without treatment, but over time, most will need to be treated. Most people with CLL are treated on and off for years.
CLL has a higher survival rate than many other cancers. The five-year survival rate is around 83 percent. This means that 83 percent of people with the condition are alive five years after diagnosis. However, in those over age 75, the five-year survival rate drops to less than 70 percent.
Leg and joint pain are common symptoms of many diseases. In the case of CLL, increasing disease activity in the bone marrow may cause leg and possibly joint pain — however, this is rare. For example, the development of osteoarthritis in your joints may cause some of the discomfort.
A small percent of CLL does run in families. Most people with CLL are the only one in their family who has this disease. MBL (monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis), a non cancerous precursor to CLL is also more common in the relatives of those CLL.
CLL is the most common form of leukemia found in adults in Western countries. Some patients die rapidly, within 2-3 years of diagnosis, because of complications from CLL, but most patients survive for 5-10 years.
CLL treatment can cause side effects such as nausea and fatigue in some people. If it happens to you, let your doctor know, so you can manage the problems. Ask your doctor about anti-nausea drugs. Therapeutic massage and acupuncture may also help control nausea and vomiting.
Inheritance. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is generally considered an acquired condition and usually occurs in people with no family history of CLL. There is currently no proof that CLL itself is inherited, but certain genes (or combinations of genes) may predispose a person to familial cancer, including CLL.
Often, people die with CLL but not from it. When CLL counts are high, there can be some health problems associated with a very high white blood cell count. Finally, in some people the CLL can transform into a more aggressive leukemia or lymphoma, which may directly result in a more rapid disease progression and death.
In CLL, the leukemia cells grow out of control and crowd out normal blood cells. These cells often build up slowly over time. Many people don't have any symptoms for at least a few years. In time, the cells can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen.
Leptomeningeal disease as an initial presentation of untransformed CLL is exceedingly rare. However a large autopsy study reported brain and leptomeningeal involvement in 20% and 8% of cases, respectively, 4 suggesting that CNS involvement in patients with CLL is underdiagnosed.
Alcohol use. Excessive alcohol use can damage your liver and other vital organs, including your bone marrow, and limit your future treatment options for CLL. Even moderate alcohol intake can have a suppressive effect on bone marrow function.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), on the other hand, does not usually form tumors. It's generally in the bone marrow and blood. And, in many cases, it has spread to other organs such as the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes by the time it's found.
Western: high intake of high-fat dairy products, processed meat, refined grains, sugary foods and snacks, high caloric drinks, and convenience 'fast' food. Prudent: high intake of low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, juices.