Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of blood cancer that affects the white blood cells, specifically the B-cells. The progression of the disease is different in each patient, and the treatment is based on each patient's individual needs.
According to Meghan Thompson, MD, ⅓ of patients need treatment at the time of diagnosis, ⅓ of patients may not need treatment right away but will later on, and the remaining ⅓ of patients do not require treatment due to the slow progression of the cancer.
"Treatment for CLL is only needed when the CLL is causing problems for the patient" (Meghan Thompson, MD).
Reasons to start CLL treatment may include:
- Affecting other blood counts (such as hemoglobin or platelets)
- Enlarged lymph nodes (usually if they are found on the neck or pressing on organs)
- Spleen size grows
- Symptoms of fatigue, night sweats, or fever
Meet with your CLL specialist to determine if treatment is needed and customize the treatment plan for your individual situation. The type of treatment will depend on the patient's type of CLL, health, age, and stage of the disease. If you are looking for a CLL expert near where you live, check out our CLL Specialist Directory.
See the full video with Meghan Thompson, MD below:
about the author
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.