CLL stands for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, but what is it exactly? Watch to learn how CLL develops and hear from CLL expert Dr. Jennifer Woyach and patient Adrian.
CLL is a blood cancer called chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which originates in the bone marrow of patients. Genetic mutations in the blood become leukemic, multiply into CLL cells, and bring on the condition of CLL. CLL is counted as the most common adult leukemia type among countries in the Western world. For the most part, CLL impacts older adults at an average diagnosis of age 70 with slightly more men impacted compared to women with CLL.
Dr. Jennifer Woyach:
“CLL is an interesting disease because it’s one of the only cancers that does not require a biopsy of something for a diagnosis. So, we can, actually, make the diagnosis of CLL based on the peripheral blood.”
Adrian (CLL Survivor): “It happened as a bit of a shock to me, actually. I’ve been quite healthy quite well earlier that week. I’d gone walking in the mountains in Switzerland, but I collapsed one day on the way home from work, and was diagnosed with pneumonia. And during that illness, they realized that my immune system wasn’t working too well, and then my lymphocyte count was high, and I was diagnosed with CLL. I was put on watch and wait, which for some people can last a decade or more, but for me, it only lasted 15 months.”
Sometimes referred to as a “good” cancer among cancer types, many CLL patients stay in an active surveillance period of “watch and wait” for several years.