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Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

CLL is a slow growing type of leukaemia. Around 200 people in Ireland are diagnosed with CLL each year.  It is more common in men than women and is most often diagnosed in people over 55.

CLL is treated with targeted therapies, chemotherapy, steroid therapy and stem cell transplants, depending on the type.

What is chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)?

CLL is a slow-growing type of leukaemia (cancer of the blood) which affects lymphocyte white blood cells.

The cancer stops the white blood cells working properly. This can cause problems with fighting infection, carrying oxygen and bleeding. 

Many people with slow growing CLL can live a normal life. Other people experience symptoms that affect their quality of life at different stages of their disease and treatment.

Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)

CLL and SLL both affect lymphocytes. Treatment and care for SLL and CLL are very similar.

The difference between CLL and SLL is where the cancer is mainly found: 

  • CLL: Most of the cancer cells are in the blood and the bone marrow. The lymph nodes and spleen may be affected too.
  • SLL: Most of the cancer cells are in the lymph nodes.

If you have SLL and need more specific information, you can call our Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700.

More information about a CLL diagnosis

More information about CLL treatment

Treatment for CLL includes targeted therapies, chemotherapy, steroid therapy and stem cell transplants. For more information about treatments for CLL, visit our treatment page. For specific information use the links below.

Coping with CLL treatment and side-effects

Online Community Support

Looking for support?

Our cancer support section contains information and advice on coping with cancer for diagnosed patients and their loved ones.

Publications about CLL

For more information

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1800 200 700

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