This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer of the white blood cells (lymphocytes). Early signs and symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, weight loss, fever, night sweats and/or frequent infections. CLL usually occurs in adults around the age of 70 and begins in the bone marrow and then spreads to the blood. Over time, CLL may also spread to the lymph nodes and other organs, including the liver, spleen and lungs. The severity and outcome of CLL depends on many factors. The underlying cause is thought to be a combination of genetic and other unknown factors. It usually occurs in people with no family history of the condition, but familial cases have been reported. CLL is diagnosed based on the symptoms and various blood tests. Treatment options depend on many factors, including the stage of the condition, blood cell counts, and whether the CLL has recurred (come back).
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