With no symptoms present, Dr. Rosen explains how doctors discover their patients have chronic lymphocytic leukemia/CLL and recalls the cause.
The diagnosis is made on a routine blood study that shows an elevated lymphocyte count, and then there’s an appropriate evaluation to confirm that that lymphocyte count is associated with a malignancy, in this instance, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and not a result of an infectious process.
We do not know the cause of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. However, this is one of the blood disorders that has a genetic predisposition. About 10% of individuals with chronic lymphocytic leukemia have a first-degree relative that has had the diagnosis. So that would be either a parent or a sibling or a child.
About Dr. Steven Rosen, M.D., F.A.C.P:
Steven Rosen, M.D., F.A.C.P., is Genevieve Teuton Professor of Medicine, at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and Director of Cancer Programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Following his graduation with distinction from Northwestern University Medical School's Six-Year Honors Program in 1976, Dr. Rosen completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Rosen's laboratory research focuses on experimental therapeutics and hematologic malignancies.