Doctors use the Rai staging system for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) which involves only blood tests and a physical exam. (The Binet system is more often used in Europe.) The stages are broken up into early-stage (stages zero, 1 and 2) and advanced (stages 3 and 4). Early in the disease, the lymphocyte count is high and the lymph nodes, liver and spleen may be effected to varying degrees.
Most patients in the early-stage do not require any therapy and may be placed on observation for months, or even years. Advanced-stage means the disease has infiltrated the bone marrow, and caused low red blood cell count (anemia) or low platelets (thrombocytopenia).
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in adults. It starts in the bone marrow with lymphocyte cells before moving into the blood. Learn more here:
For patients diagnosed with CLL, the go-to treatment option is usually some form of chemo-immunotherapy. But this is not an option for all patients.
Oral Medicine for Relapsed CLL: Venetoclax
Oral Medicine for CLL: Ibrutinib
Oral Medicine for Relapsed CLL