Previously untreated Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It is the most common type of leukemia in adults. It is a slow-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow often without symptoms in its early stages. In some cases, it can progress more rapidly and may require treatment.

Previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a term used to describe the diagnosis and management of CLL in people who have yet to be treated for the condition. This treatment often includes medications and other therapies.

Diagnosis of CLL

The diagnosis of CLL involves an evaluation of a patient's medical and family history, a physical examination, blood tests, and imaging tests. A pathology report is also important to help decide if the condition is CLL or something else. The most important laboratory test for CLL is a complete blood count (CBC) to look for the number of immature and mature cells called lymphocytes in the blood.

Subtypes of CLL

CLL is divided into several different subtypes that vary in their pattern of progression and how they affect the body. The most common subtypes include:

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia without a lymph node syndrome (CLL-NOS)
  • Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM)
  • Richter's syndrome
  • Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
  • Prolymphocytic leukemia (CLL-P)

Treatment for CLL

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for CLL, however, the goal is to slow tumor growth and improve symptoms. Treatment options may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, stem cell transplant, radiation therapy and/or surgery. Depending on your age, genetics and clinical condition, medications, and other treatments will be tailored to you.

Living with CLL

It is important to remember that CLL is a chronic condition, meaning that it is a condition that can be managed over a long period of time, with periodic evaluations by your healthcare team. With the help of your healthcare team, it is possible to live an active and enjoyable life while being aware of the risks and benefits of treatment.