Hairy Cell Leukemia

(HCL; Leukemic Reticuloendotheliosis)

Definition

Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare form of cancer. It involves white blood cells called B lymphocytes. White blood cells protect the body from infection. HCL gets its name from the tiny hair-like projections that stick out of the surface of these cancer cells. Illness results from the build up of these cancer cells in the bone marrow and spleen.
White Blood Cells
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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 can not 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 cells, 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 HCL is unknown, but it may be linked to a genetic mutation.

Risk Factors

HCL occurs more often in men. It also occurs more often in people over the age of 50.

Symptoms

HCL usually develops slowly over time. Early on, there may not be any symptoms.In those that have them, symptoms may include:
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fever
  • Easy bruising
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with: Images may be taken of your bodily structures with a CT scan .

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


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

Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.

dot separator
previous editions

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

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

Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations
January 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

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

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook