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


Parent-Adolescent Communication May Result In Safer Sex
December 2015

Improving parent-adolescent sexual communication has been noted as one factor that could help to encourage adolescents to practice safer sex behavior. This study found that sexual communication with parents plays a small protective role in safer sex behavior among adolescents.

dot separator
previous editions

Celiac Disease May Increase the Risk of Bone Fractures
November 2015

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

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

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook