If you have early stage CLL, your doctor will just monitor you closely. Treatment is not generally given for early-stage CLL, unless you have:
- A high-risk or aggressive (grows quickly) type of CLL
- Infections that keep coming back
- Leukemia that is rapidly getting worse
- Low red blood cell or platelet counts
- Fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, or night sweats
- Painful swollen lymph nodes
Chemotherapy medicines are used to treat CLL. Your doctor will determine which ones are right for you.
In rare cases, radiation is used for painful and enlarged lymph nodes.
Blood transfusions or platelet transfusions may be required if blood counts are low.
Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation may be used in younger people with advanced or high-risk CLL. A transplant is the only therapy that offers a potential cure for CLL, but it also has risks. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you.