Chronic Inflammation Vs. Acute Inflammation: What You Need To Know
What You Need to Know About Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).
(also called CLL) is a and disease that usually gets worse slowly. CLL is the second most common type of leukemia in adults. It often occurs during or after middle age; it rarely occurs in children.
Normally, the body makes blood (immature ) that become mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a stem cell or a stem cell.
A myeloid stem cell becomes one of three types of mature blood cells:
- that carry and other substances to all of the body.
- that fight and disease.
- that form to stop bleeding.
A lymphoid stem cell becomes a cell and then one of three types of (white blood cells):
- that make to help fight infection.
- that help B lymphocytes make antibodies to fight infection.
- that attack cells and .
In CLL, too many blood stem cells become lymphocytes and do not become healthy white blood cells. The abnormal lymphocytes may also be called leukemia cells. The lymphocytes are not able to fight infection very well. Also, as the number of lymphocytes increases in the blood and bone marrow, there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may cause infection, , and easy bleeding.
This summary is about chronic lymphocytic leukemia. See the following summaries for more information about leukemia:
Older age can affect the risk of developing chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a . Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for CLL include the following:
- Being middle-aged or older, male, or white.
- A of CLL or cancer of the .
- Having relatives who are Russian Jews or Eastern European Jews.
Possible signs of chronic lymphocytic leukemia include swollen lymph nodes and tiredness.
Usually CLL does not cause any and is found during a routine . Sometimes symptoms occur that may be caused by CLL or by other . Check with your doctor if you have any of the following problems:
- Painless swelling of the in the neck, underarm, , or .
- Feeling very tired.
- Pain or fullness below the ribs.
- and infection.
- Weight loss for no known reason.
Tests that examine the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes are used to detect (find) and diagnose chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- and: An exam of the body to check general of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- : A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
- The number of red blood cells and platelets.
- The number and type of white blood cells.
- The amount of (the that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
- The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.
- : A in which the or on the surface of a blood or bone marrow cell are checked to see if they are lymphocytes or myeloid cells. If the cells are lymphocytes (cancer), they are checked to see if they are B lymphocytes or T lymphocytes.
- (fluorescence in situ hybridization): A laboratory technique used to look at or in cells and tissues. Pieces of that contain a fluorescent dye are made in the laboratory and added to cells or tissues on a glass slide. When these pieces of DNA bind to specific genes or areas of chromosomes on the slide, they light up when viewed under a microscope with a special light.
- : A that measures the number of cells in a sample, the percentage of live cells in a sample, and certain characteristics of cells, such as size, shape, and the presence of on the cell surface. The cells are stained with a light-sensitive dye, placed in a , and passed in a stream before a or other type of light. The measurements are based on how the light-sensitive dye reacts to the light.
- IgVH gene test: A laboratory test done on a bone marrow or blood sample to check for an IgVH gene mutation. Patients with an IgVH gene mutation have a better .
- and: The removal of bone marrow, blood, and a small piece of bone by inserting a hollow needle into the hipbone or . A views the bone marrow, blood, and bone under a microscope to look for abnormal cells.
Certain factors affect treatment options and prognosis (chance of recovery).
Treatment options depend on:
- The of the disease.
- Red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet blood counts.
- Whether there are symptoms, such as fever, chills, or weight loss.
- Whether the , , or lymph nodes are larger than normal.
- The to initial treatment.
- Whether the CLL has (come back).
The (chance of ) depends on:
- Whether there is a change in the and the type of change, if there is one.
- Whether lymphocytes are spread throughout the bone marrow.
- The stage of the disease.
- Whether the CLL gets better with treatment or has recurred (come back).
- Whether the CLL to or .
- The patient's general health.
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