Definitions for b-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia

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  1. B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, also known as chronic lymphoid leukemia, is the most common type of adulthood leukemias. Leukemias are cancers of the white blood cells. CLL affects B cell lymphocytes. B cells originate in the bone marrow, develop in the lymph nodes, and normally fight infection by producing antibodies. In CLL, B cells grow out of control and accumulate in the bone marrow and blood, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. CLL is a stage of small lymphocytic lymphoma, a type of B-cell lymphoma, which presents primarily in the lymph nodes. CLL and SLL are considered the same underlying disease, just with different appearances. CLL is a disease of adults, but, in rare cases, it can occur in teenagers and occasionally in children. Most people newly diagnosed with CLL are over the age of 50, and the majority are men. Most people are diagnosed without symptoms as the result of a routine blood test that returns a high white blood cell count, but, as it advances, CLL results in swollen lymph nodes, spleen, and liver, and eventually anemia and infections. Early CLL is not treated, and late CLL is treated with chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies.

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