Leukemia is a type of cancer that causes your body to make too many blood cells, especially white blood cells. White blood cells are a part of your immune system, which helps protect you from infection and disease.
In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), your body makes large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes. The cells may work as they should, but your body makes too many of them. Over time, these cells may not work as well, and they may cause symptoms as they begin to crowd out healthy white blood cells and other parts of your blood.
There are several treatments for CLL, including chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or radiation therapy. But because CLL may get worse slowly, sometimes treatment can wait. Your doctor will follow your progress and let you know if or when you need treatment.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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