Chronic lymphocytic leukemia may cause complications such as:
April 26, 2013
- Frequent infections. People with chronic lymphocytic leukemia may experience frequent infections. In most cases, these infections are common infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract. But sometimes more-serious infections can develop.
- A switch to a more aggressive form of cancer. A small number of people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia may develop a more aggressive form of cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Doctors sometimes refer to this switch as Richter's syndrome.
- Increased risk of other cancers. People with chronic lymphocytic leukemia have an increased risk of other types of cancer, including skin cancer, such as melanoma, and cancers of the lung and the digestive tract.
- Immune system problems. A small number of people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia may develop an immune system problem that causes the disease-fighting cells of the immune system to mistakenly attack the red blood cells or the platelets.
- Lichtman MA, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=69. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. http://www.lls.org/#/resourcecenter/freeeducationmaterials/leukemia/cll. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/CLL/patient. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- When cancer doesn't go away. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/when-cancer-doesnt-go-away. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Cancer-related fatigue. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Shanafelt TD, et al. Phase 2 trial of daily, oral polyphenon E in patients with asymptomatic, Rai stage 0 to II chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer. 2013;119:363.
- Green tea. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Shanafelt TD, et al. Hematologist/oncologist disease-specific expertise and survival: Lessons from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL). Cancer. 2012;118:1827.
- Shanafelt TD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 2, 2013.
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