Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

(CLL)

Definition

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. With CLL, the bone marrow makes too many of these cells. CLL begins in mature lymphocytes. It may be slow growing for many years with little or no trouble. It may also progress to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a more aggressive form of leukemia. Some forms of CLL may be more serious.
White Blood Cells
White Blood Cells
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
CLL can also be associated with the presence of chronic lymphocytic lymphoma. This is a small cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma . The abnormal cells in both cases may come from the same parent cell source. As a result, one of the signs of CLL may be swelling in the lymph nodes.

Causes

Cancer occurs when cells in the body become abnormal. They divide without control or order. Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells and their parent cells. Leukemia cells do not function normally. In this case, they cannot fight infections. This means that the person is more likely to become infected with viruses or bacteria. The cancerous cells also overgrow the bone marrow. This forces other normal components, like platelets, out. Platelets are needed to help the blood clot. As a result, people with leukemia may bleed more easily.The exact cause of CLL is unknown. Changes in chromosomes that occur during life have been associated with CLL. It is also associated with exposure to radiation and to toxic chemicals such as:
  • Benzene—common in agriculture, paint manufacture, and dye manufacture
  • Agent Orange—an herbicide used in the Vietnam war

Risk Factors

CLL is more common in Caucasians, men, and those who are middle age or older. Other factors that may increase your chance of CLL include:
  • Family history of CLL or cancer of the lymphatic system
  • Relatives who are Russian Jews or Eastern European Jews
  • Exposure to Agent Orange

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Chewing Gum After Surgery May Improve Digestive Tract Recovery
April 2015

A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.

dot separator
previous editions

Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook