The most important information about chronic lymphocytic leukemia

What signs and symptoms are present in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, a type of blood cancer? What are the treatment options? Find out the answer with us in this article.

The most important information about chronic lymphocytic leukemia

A form of blood cancer known as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia affects the bone marrow and white blood cells, which the body uses to fight infection. What signs does it exhibit? How has this disease been identified? What options are there for treatment? Follow along as we learn more about it:

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Some types of white blood cells are affected by chronic lymphocytic leukaemia because abnormal cells are formed that cannot fight infection. These cells start to multiply and spread within the bone marrow and blood, which reduces the presence of other normal cells.

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is more common in adults.
  • Because the patient's symptoms do not manifest themselves until a significant amount of time after the injury, this disease is referred to as chronic.

Symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Early on in the course of their illness, patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia may not exhibit any symptoms, but as the condition progresses, they may start to experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • night sweats
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • Recurrent infection.
  • General weakness and feeling tired.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Due to the disease, the spleen grows larger, causing pain or a feeling of fullness in the stomach.
  • lymph nodes that are swollen in the stomach, under the arm, between the thighs, or the neck.
  • Under the skin, blood appears as dark red spots called spot macules.

Causes and risk factors

Although the exact cause of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is unknown, it is thought that a genetic mutation affects the DNA responsible for producing blood cells. A number of risk factors can increase a person's likelihood of developing the illness, including the following:

  1. getting old.
  2. white race.
  3. Family history of leukemia or bone marrow cancer.
  4. Exposure to some chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides.

Diagnostic methods of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

A series of clinical and blood tests are carried out to identify chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, including the following:

1. Clinical examination 

The patient is given a clinical examination to look for any lymph node changes or enlargements and to get their medical history.

2. Comprehensive blood analysis

A complete blood test is performed to check and count the red, white, and platelet cells as well as to identify the different types of white blood cells.

3. Chemical examination of blood

To examine the levels of some substances secreted from tissues and organs, which point to the presence of a specific disease, a blood sample is taken, and some tests are carried out.

4. Flow cytometry

When white blood cells are found in greater numbers, their type can be used to determine whether a patient has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. These characteristics can also be used to gauge how serious the disease is.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment

According to studies, it is useless and ineffective to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in its early stages, before any symptoms manifest. Therefore, at this stage, the patient is satisfied with visiting the doctor periodically to monitor any changes, and in the event that the disease develops, it can be treated by one of the following methods:

  • Chemotherapy 

The drugs used in chemotherapy can kill cancer cells, but they also affect healthy cells. Your doctor may give you medication, either in the form of oral pills or intravenous needles.

  • Immunotherapy

The use of antibodies—which are typically administered in conjunction with chemotherapy—that attach to the surface of cancer cells and prompt immune cells to attack them—helps and stimulates the immune system.

  • Radiation therapy

To kill cancer cells, high-energy radiation waves like X-rays are used. Radiotherapy is not used as often as it is used in certain cases.

  • targeted therapy

In this treatment, drugs and other substances are used that can distinguish and target the cancer cell itself and cause less damage to normal cells. These substances consist of the following:

  1. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
  2. Inhibitors of a blood cell protein called B.
  • Bone marrow transplant

After the stem cells that produce cancer in the bone marrow are killed with potent chemicals, donor stem cells are injected into the area, where they travel through the bloodstream to the bone marrow and begin to produce new, healthy cells.

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