What is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)?
CLL is a type of blood cancer which occurs due to abnormal production of a certain type of blood cell known as “Lymphocytes”. Cancer is basically a drastic increase in a certain type of cells in the body. This sudden and uncontrolled production also causes a change in the basic morphology and genetics of the cell.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia occurs due to excessive proliferation of B-cells. B-cell is an important type of lymphocyte which is involved with the production of antibodies.
The main difference between the “Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)” and “Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)” is the cells of their origin. The CML has its roots from myeloid-type stem cells while the CLL originates from lymphoid-type.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia?
The CLL occurs mostly in adult males of 50 years of age. The disease is less prevalent in Asian countries. Countries like India and other South-East Asian countries are increasingly becoming hotspots for treatment of leukemia due to the low costs and highly specialized team.
Some of the most common symptoms found in the CLL patients which ring a bell with the doctors to get a diagnosis are:
- Fever and chills
- Weight loss with an unknown cause.
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Enlargement of the spleen
The disease has certain risk factors, but no specific known agent is associated with the disease. Studies have proven that CLL is known to have a genetic association. Also, CLL is more prevalent in individuals who are exposed to a certain chemical known as “Agent Orange” and some other insecticides.
How is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia diagnosed?
The CLL is a slow-growing disease which is usually detected accidentally during routine blood tests. The disease is diagnosed only after it has been spread to organs such as spleen, liver etc.
India is a medically advancing countries with several state-of-the-art medical and diagnostic centers. These are fully equipped with all the latest equipment and trained staff.
Following are the few tests used to determine the type, severity, and spread of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia:
- Complete blood counts
- Flow cytometry to detect the physical and chemical characteristics of the B-cells.
- Bone marrow biopsy
- Lymph node biopsy
The main feature that distinguishes Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia from lymphoma is its origin. Leukemia starts from the bone marrow while lymphoma is the type of cancer that has its origin in the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system.
What is the treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia?
It is the cancer of B-lymphocytes. The treatment is to some extent possible by managing the disease using various therapies. The treatment depends upon the following factors:
- Spread of CLL
- Stage of CLL
Firstly, after the diagnosis of CLL is confirmed, the doctors just give a symptomatic treatment of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The disease does not always need an aggressive approach. It has been reported that in some cases patients may survive up to 5-8 years after the diagnosis, without any treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
In patients with advanced stages of the disease, doctors may adopt aggressive treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The following treatment approaches can be used:
Chemotherapy: It involves the killing of cancer cells. This type of treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia brings the cell count to almost normal.
Targeted drug therapy: These specifically designed treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia only affects the few targeted cells.
Immunotherapy: It uses substances which enhance the patient’s immune system as a part of treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Stem cell transplant: It can be done before or after the chemotherapy to make up for all the lost healthy cells due to the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia as well as due to the disease.
No matter what the disease is, our doctors can surely help you. Indian hospitals are fully equipped to successfully treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Contact us via an email or call us on our helpline number. Visit our website www.bloodcancercure.com for complete information.
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