Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a kind of cancer that affects the white blood cells and tends to growth gradually over many years. This a type of cancer that starts from cells that become definite white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow. The cancer cells start in the bone marrow but then go into the blood.

Doctors have initiated that there seem to be two dissimilar kinds of Chronic lymphocytic leukemia:

  • One kind of CLL grows very gradually and so it may take a long time before the patient needs cure.
  • The other kind of CLL grows sooner and is a further severe disease.


Many people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia have no premature symptoms. Those who do grow signs and symptoms may experience:

  • Enlarged, but painless, lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and infections
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Pain in the upper left portion of the abdomen, which may be caused by an enlarged spleen
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent infections



Doctors aren’t assured what starts the procedure that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Doctors know that something happens to reason a genetic mutation in the DNA of blood-producing cells. This change causes the blood cells to create irregular, unproductive lymphocytes — one type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infection.

Beyond being unproductive, these irregular lymphocytes continue to live and multiply, when normal lymphocytes would die. The irregular lymphocytes accumulate in the blood and assured organs, where they cause complications. They may crowd strong cells out of the bone marrow and interfere with usual blood cell production.

Doctors and researchers are working to understand the exact mechanism that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia.


If Chronic lymphocytic leukemia starts to cause symptoms, or isn’t diagnosed until later on, the major treatments are:

  • chemotherapy – where medication taken as a tablet or given directly into a vein is used to destroy the cancerous cells
  • a stem cell or bone marrow transplant – where donated cells called stem cells are transplanted into your body so you start to produce healthy white blood cells
  • radiation therapy – this kind of treatment uses high-energy rays, such as X-rays, to destroy cancer cells. You perhaps won’t need it, unless your doctor recommends it to shrink swelling in a lymph node, spleen, or other organ that’s causing pain.

Treatment can’t generally cure CLL completely, but can dawdling its development and lead to periods where there are no symptoms. Treatment may be continual if the situation comes back.



Chronic lymphocytic leukemia generally affects older adults. There are treatments to help control the disease. It mostly affects people over the age of 60 and is rare in people under 40. Children are almost never affected.