Treating Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common form of leukemia in adults. It is a slow-progressing disease that in some cases spreads rapidly, making fast diagnosis important.

Regional Cancer Care Associates – which serves Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey – has a team of skilled oncologists that can diagnose and treat all types of cancer, including CLL. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with CLL, we can help relieve your symptoms and restore your quality of life.

What Is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Leukemia is unlike other cancers. Though most forms of cancer affect a single organ, leukemia originates in the blood and circulates throughout the body. CLL specifically originates in the bone marrow, where white blood cells are made. The illness causes a genetic mutation in the bone marrow that produces defective white blood cells that cannot fight infection.

Each patient’s leukemia is “staged” based on how far the cancer has spread. CLL is staged using the following metric:

  • Stage 0: No enlargement of organs; red blood cell and platelet counts are near normal.
  • Stage I: Lymph nodes are enlarged.
  • Stage II: Spleen is enlarged; lymph nodes may be enlarged.
  • Stage III: Lymph nodes, spleen, or liver may be enlarged; red blood cell counts are low.
  • Stage IV: Lymph nodes, spleen, or liver is enlarged; red blood cell counts may be normal or low, and platelet counts are low.

Signs and Symptoms

Because CLL is a slow-growing cancer, it may not immediately cause symptoms. Patients, however, may eventually notice signs such as:

  • Enlarged, but painless, lymph nodes (usually in the neck, armpits, or groin)
  • Fevers and night sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • A sense of pain or “fullness” in the belly
  • Unusually frequent infections

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a physician as soon as possible. Your physician can order blood and bone marrow tests to determine whether CLL is the cause. If the tests indicate CLL, the doctor will refer you to a specialist who can help.

Who Is at Risk?

Doctors are not sure what causes CLL, but researchers have identified risk factors. Age is a significant factor, and the risk increases as you get older: Persons older than age 50 account for nine in 10 CLL diagnoses. A family history may also increase your risk of leukemia, and exposure to chemicals, including radon and some pesticides, have been linked to a higher occurrence of CLL.

Treatment Options

Although CLL tends to progress slowly, it can accelerate in some cases, so treatment should still be a priority. The appropriate treatment will depend on the individual case as well as the patient’s age, state of health, and existence of a concurrent disorder. Regional Cancer Care Associates will work with you to choose a plan that will be effective for your situation. We may recommend one or more of the following treatment approaches:

Learn More about CLL

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms or has been diagnosed with CLL, Regional Cancer Care Associates can help. We offer easy access to high-quality care at our 31 convenient locations throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey. Visit or call us today to find out more.

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