Leukemias are cancers that start in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. When these cells become leukemic, they stop maturing properly and grow out of control. Eventually, they spill into the bloodstream. Because they are essentially abnormal white blood cells, they prevent your blood from doing normal things like fighting infections, keeping your energy up and preventing excessive bleeding.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia that affects older adults. The average age of most patients at diagnosis is about 70 years old. CLL accounts for about one-quarter of new cases of leukemia each year. Because CLL is a slow-growing, chronic cancer many people won’t necessarily need treatment at diagnosis. Instead, patients are monitored and their blood count tracked to determine whether and when treatment is actually required.Read More
Monitoring CLL after diagnosis