September 25, 2018

 

Immunotherapy for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia-Hope Medical Group

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.

 

The term "chronic" in chronic lymphocytic leukemia comes from the fact that it typically progresses more slowly than other types of leukemia. The term "lymphocytic" in chronic lymphocytic leukemia comes from the cells affected by the disease — a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes, which help your body fight infection.

 

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia most commonly affects older adults. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatments can help control the disease.

Symptoms

 

Many people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia have no symptoms. Those who do develop signs and symptoms may experience:

 

Enlarged, but painless, lymph nodes

 

Fatigue

Fever

Pain in the upper left portion of the abdomen, which may be caused by an enlarged spleen

Night sweats

Weight loss

Frequent infections

Causes

 

Doctors aren't certain what starts the process that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Doctors know that something happens in order to cause a genetic mutation in the DNA of blood-producing cells. This mutation causes the blood cells to produce abnormal, ineffective lymphocytes — one type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infection.

 

Beyond being ineffective, these abnormal lymphocytes continue to live and multiply, when normal lymphocytes would die. The abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in the blood and certain organs, where they cause complications. They may crowd healthy cells out of the bone marrow and interfere with normal blood cell production.

 

Doctors and researchers are working to understand the exact mechanism that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase the risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia include:

 

Your age. Most people diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia are over 60.

 

 

 

Your sex. Men are more likely than are women to develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

 

 

 

Your race. Whites are more likely to develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia than are people of other races.

 

 

 

Family history of blood and bone marrow cancers. A family history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia or other blood and bone marrow cancers may increase your risk.

 

 

 

Exposure to chemicals. Certain herbicides and insecticides, including Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War, have been linked to an increased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Complications

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia may cause complications such as:

 

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.

Treatment

 

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.

 

Cancer harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign.

More dangerous, or malignant, tumors form when two things occur:

A cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion

That cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessels to feed itself in a process called angiogenesis.

When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.

Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer begins to form. Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control.

Cancer symptoms are quite varied and depend on where the cancer is located, where it has spread, and how big the tumor is. Some cancers can be felt or seen through the skin - a lump on the breast or testicle can be an indicator of cancer in those locations. Skin cancer (melanoma) is often noted by a change in a wart or mole on the skin. Some oral cancers present white patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue.

Other cancers have symptoms that are less physically apparent. Some brain tumors tend to present symptoms early in the disease as they affect important cognitive functions. Pancreas cancers are usually too small to cause symptoms until they cause pain by pushing against nearby nerves or interfere with liver function to cause a yellowing of the skin and eyes called jaundice. Symptoms also can be created as a tumor grows and pushes against organs and blood vessels. For example, colon cancers lead to symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and changes in stool size. Bladder or prostate cancers cause changes in bladder function such as more frequent or infrequent urination.

As cancer cells use the body's energy and interfere with normal hormone function, it is possible to present symptoms such as fever, fatigue, excessive sweating, anemia, and unexplained weight loss. However, these symptoms are common in several other maladies as well. For example, coughing and hoarseness can point to lung or throat cancer as well as several other conditions.

When cancer spreads, or metastasizes, additional symptoms can present themselves in the newly affected area. Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes are common and likely to be present early. If cancer spreads to the brain, patients may experience vertigo, headaches, or seizures. Spreading to the lungs may cause coughing and shortness of breath. In addition, the liver may become enlarged and cause jaundice and bones can become painful, brittle, and break easily. Symptoms of metastasis ultimately depend on the location to which the cancer has spread.

There are five broad groups that are used to classify cancer.

Carcinomas are characterized by cells that cover internal and external parts of the body such as lung, breast, and colon cancer.

Sarcomas are characterized by cells that are located in bone, cartilage, fat, connective tissue, muscle, and other supportive tissues.

Lymphomas are cancers that begin in the lymph nodes and immune system tissues.

Leukemias are cancers that begin in the bone marrow and often accumulate in the bloodstream.

Adenomas are cancers that arise in the thyroid, the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland, and other glandular tissues.

Cancers are often referred to by terms that contain a prefix related to the cell type in which the cancer originated and a suffix such as -sarcoma, -carcinoma, or just -oma. Common prefixes include:

Adeno- = gland

Chondro- = cartilage

Erythro- = red blood cell

Hemangio- = blood vessels

Hepato- = liver

Lipo- = fat

Lympho- = white blood cell

Melano- = pigment cell

Myelo- = bone marrow

Myo- = muscle

Osteo- = bone

Uro- = bladder

Retino- = eye

Neuro- = brain

 

Early detection of cancer can greatly improve the odds of successful treatment and survival. Physicians use information from symptoms and several other procedures to diagnose cancer. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and ultrasound scans are used regularly in order to detect where a tumor is located and what organs may be affected by it. Doctors may also conduct an endoscopy, which is a procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera and light at one end, to look for abnormalities inside the body.

 

Extracting cancer cells and looking at them under a microscope is the only absolute way to diagnose cancer. This procedure is called a biopsy. Other types of molecular diagnostic tests are frequently employed as well. Physicians will analyze your body's sugars, fats, proteins, and DNA at the molecular level. For example, cancerous prostate cells release a higher level of a chemical called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) into the bloodstream that can be detected by a blood test. Molecular diagnostics, biopsies, and imaging techniques are all used together to diagnose cancer.

 For more information on stem cell immunotherapy for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, please complete a medical form here or visit http://hopestemcell.com/cancer-immunology

 

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