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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia - Stages, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Jan 13, 2021   -  5 min read

Abstract

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a severe form of blood cancer. Read this article to know more.

Contents

What Is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a condition in which an excessive number of white blood cells (WBC) is seen in the blood. The bone marrow becomes hyperactive and produces an excessive number of cells. Though there are elevated levels of WBC, they are not functionally potent to carry out the regular activities in the body. It can occur in both acute and chronic conditions. If the condition occurs suddenly, then it is categorized as an acute condition, and if it takes a longer duration for progression, then it is categorized as chronic leukemia.

What Is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a monoclonal disorder in which there is an accumulation of an abnormal protein called M protein. M protein refers to the monoclonal protein present in the blood. If M proteins are present in urine or the blood, then it is an indicating sign for a disease or condition. These abnormal proteins are known to be formed within the bone marrow. The usual age of occurrence of this condition is around fifty years.

What Is the Epidemiology of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Reports from The American Cancer Society show that there are more than twenty-one thousand and forty cases recorded every year. Asian countries like Japan and China have only a poor number of cases reported for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In addition to this, males experience two times the risk for chronic lymphocytic leukemia when compared to women.

What Are the Stages of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

There are two types of staging systems that are used for categorizing chronic lymphocytic leukemia. They are:

The condition of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is categorized as follows according to the Rai-Sawitsky staging system.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is categorized into the following stages in the Binet staging system.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Some patients do not experience any signs and symptoms during the early stage of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The condition usually progresses gradually and can be identified in any blood examination done as a diagnostic procedure for any other purpose. Approximately twenty to fifty percent of patients do not experience any symptoms. The common signs and symptoms experienced by chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients are:

What Are the Risk Factors Associated With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

The various risk factors associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia are:

What Are the Causes of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia can occur due to various genetic mutations in an individual. Trisomy in chromosome 12 and any other type of deletions in the gene can also be the causative factor. In other cases, translocation is also known to contribute to the occurrence of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In some individuals, genetic mutations that are abnormal might be inherited from the parents. Excessive exposure to a herbicide called Agent orange is known to be a hazardous cause for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Some viral infections can also lead to chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

How Is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia requires blood examination and staging.

The other methods that are used for the identification of chronic lymphocytic leukemia are computerized tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET).

What Are the Treatment Options for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

The following treatment options are known to be beneficial for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Last reviewed at:
13 Jan 2021  -  5 min read

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