What is CLL?

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, is a cancer of the immune system.

CLL is the most common chronic leukemia in the United States. In people with CLL, too many white blood cells (known as lymphocytes) build up in the blood, bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes. Over time, these cells may crowd healthy cells, resulting in fewer normal blood cells and platelets.

Everyone experiences chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, differently. It is important to pay attention to how your CLL may be affecting you. Tell your doctor if you notice any symptoms or changes in your health.

Possible symptoms you should watch for include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin. This swelling can be painless
  • Discomfort or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Feeling very tired or weak
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Fever, night sweats, or weight loss
  • Infections of the skin or body

While you are being treated and after your treatment concludes, your doctor will continue to monitor your CLL.

  • Swelling in your lymph nodes, liver, or spleen 
  • An increase in the number of CLL cells
  • A decrease in the number of normal blood cells

Symptoms of CLL may be seen in other conditions as well. Only your doctor will be able to tell if your symptoms are related to CLL.