The CLL Guide: Information for Patients and Caregivers
The CLL Guide is for people with CLL and others who want basic information about the disease. Many people find that it helps to know the questions to ask about choosing a specialist and about treatment. The Guide includes suggested questions to ask your doctor.
CLL is a type of cancer that begins in the bone marrow. It starts with a change to a lymphocyte (a type of cell that fights infection). CLL cells do not fight infection like normal lymphocytes do. Over time, CLL cells replace normal lymphocytes in the marrow and lymph nodes. If there is a high number of CLL cells in the marrow they may crowd out the normal blood-forming cells (red cells, white cells and platelets).
Some people have CLL that grows slowly. They do not need drug therapy right away. Other people have CLL that grows faster. They do need drug therapy once their CLL is diagnosed.