HealthTree Logo
search more_vert
App Logo
person Sign In / Create Account
What's the Difference Between CLL and SLL?
Posted: Jan 31, 2023
What's the Difference Between CLL and SLL? image

While being treated for CLL, patients may also hear about small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). CLL and SLL are actually the same cancer. The only difference is where the cancer cells are located in the body.

CLL cells are mainly found in the bloodstream and bone marrow but may sometimes also be in the lymph nodes and spleen. 

CLL location

SLL cells are mainly in the lymph nodes and spleen. There are few, if any, leukemia cells in the blood. 

Treatment options for CLL and SLL are similar as the type of cancer cells are the same (NCCN). 

“In CLL, each patient may present the disease differently. In some patients, the disease is more in the lymph node. In others, it is more in the bloodstream. For some patients, CLL cells are detected in both. By virtue, the CLL cells circulate in the blood throughout the body but in terms of nodal disease, some patients might have enlarged lymph nodes in just one area, and in other patients it’s more diffused in terms of the enlarged lymph nodes” (Meghan Thompson, MD). 

Each CLL case varies by patient. Talk with your CLL specialist to determine the best treatment plan for your individual case.

Watch more about the differences between CLL and SLL here:


The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree as a Community Coordinator for CLL in 2022. She is the daughter of a blood cancer patient and has found a passion for helping support patients and caregivers to advance research for their cure and improve their quality of life. In her spare time, she loves to be around family, sew, and cook. 

Get the latest thought leadership on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the weekly "HealthTree Community for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Newsletter" for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia news, life with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia stories, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia clinical trials, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 101 articles and events with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia experts.

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Sponsors:


Follow Us

facebook instagram twitter youtube