Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, also called CLL, is a disease that affects the bone marrow of our body. To be more specific, it affects the spongy tissue of the bone marrow, which is responsible for producing B cells. This affects mainly the older people. This is a slowly progressing disease. It mainly affects lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell present in our body.
The liver and spleen are the most affected organs due to CLL.
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia Causes
The cause of this disease seems to be a mystery since doctors and researchers aren't able to identify the particular reason for the occurrence of this disease. Speculation is that it is due to a change in the DNA pattern of blood-forming cells, which is technically called a mutation.
Some of the common causes of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia are as follows:
- Age: Age is one of the common criteria when it comes to CLL cause.
- Race: It is a medical fact that race and CLL are interlinked with one another. White people are more susceptible to CLL.
- Medical history of family members: If your family member or parents are affected by CLL, chances are, you may get affected too.
Doctors and researchers are working on finding the mechanism of this disease since this is a very rare disease. This disease occurs in one in a million people.
Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia
One may not be able to identify the symptoms the moment it occurs since it is a very slowly progressing disease. But later, a few symptoms would be noticed, such as:
- Night sweats
- Enlarged but painless lymph nodes
- Pain in the upper left abdomen area due to enlargement of the spleen
Possible Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia
- Treatment for this disease may not be immediate. First, you will be given medications, and your condition will be frequently monitored to decide on further steps.
- If the symptoms are not obvious, then the treatment won't be right away since the treatment can be heavy and is reserved for leukaemia as it progresses. Treatment for intermediate and advanced stages are different:
- Chemotherapy (single or combination): Chemotherapy is simply the treatment given to the patients with the help of drugs and medications. For CLL, some of the commonly used medications are Fludarabine, Pentostatin, etc.
- Targeted drug therapy: Certain drugs take roles in targeting a certain set of proteins or any molecules and are seen as an extra layer over the cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy: For CLL, monoclonal antibodies are commonly used as a part of the treatment.
- Bone marrow transplant, which is also called stem cell transparent, is used for the most advanced stage of cancer.
These treatments are either given independently or as a combination so that they can be more efficient in eliminating the cancer cells from the body.
Risk factors of Lymphocytic leukaemia
- Age: CLL often occurs in older people. Commonly, people diagnosed with CLL are above 70 years of age.
- Ethnicity: Caucasians are more prone to CLL compared to any other ethnicity.
- Family history: If your family has a history of cancers related to bone or bone marrow, then you are at a high risk of getting it.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals: If you are often exposed to toxic chemicals like herbicides and insecticides, then there might be a chance you might get chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
- MBL: Monoclonal B cell Lymphocytosis is a condition where there is an abnormal growth of lymphocytes in the blood that can act as a risk factor for CLL.
Typical Test For Chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia
If you go to a doctor after observing the above-mentioned symptoms, he would examine you clinically and request you to get a few blood tests done. Some of the tests that are required for the diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia are:
- Blood test: To find out the red and white blood cell count, which will help to determine if you have leukaemia or not. People with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia will have a high WBC count.
- Flow cytometry: This helps in identifying cells that are like CLL in the group of white blood cells. This can also identify CLL cells that are present in bone marrow or other fluids.
- Bone marrow tests: Bone marrow tests like bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy are done to confirm the diagnoses. The bone marrow sample is usually taken from the back of the pelvic bone (hip) or other bones.
CLL can be cured or prevented at the early stages itself.
- Try keeping yourself at a distance from pesticides and herbicides.
- Benzene exposure must be limited or avoided.
- Correct body weight must be maintained throughout.
Though recurrence of CLL is not very common, taking care of certain things is vital.
- Avoid intake of raw sprouts or unpasteurized drinks.
- Make sure to keep your immune system on the right track.
Differential diagnosis (optional)
- Epidemiology: 0.57 is the average rate of people getting affected by CLL, which in turn makes the person vulnerable to leukaemia. A full body check-up once in a while or consulting a doctor at the early stages would be better.
- Expected Prognosis: People with CLL have a certain window to survive, depending on the rate of the diseases affecting the person.
- Natural Progression: If CLL is not identified at early stages, there are chances that the patient may develop many symptoms like fever, lymph node swelling, etc., at a severe rate.
- Pathophysiology: Pluripotent's malignant transformation will pave the way for the cause of CLL. If a stem cell has a limited rate of self-renewal capacity, chances are more that this would become a root cause of CLL.
Possible complications In case of Chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia
- Since the immune system would become more vulnerable due to CLL, there are possibilities of sensitive infections attacking the person's immune system.
- An aggressive form of cancer is another fright.
- Not only does the immune system become weak, but many other issues due to lack of immunity will arise.
PS: Plagiarism is controlled at 3%. The similarity is due to the use of unavoidable medical terms.
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