Leukaemia, hairy cell
As hairy cell leukaemia develops slowly, immediate treatmentmay not be needed. You'll have regular blood tests to monitor your condition.
Treatment may be recommended ifthe number of abnormal white blood cellsincreases or if you develop symptoms.
Chemotherapy is the main treatment for hairy cell leukaemia and is usually effective at destroying the cancerous cells. The two main chemotherapymedications usedare:
Rituximab,a type ofmedication known as a monoclonal antibody,may sometimes be used in combination with chemotherapy. Itworks by attaching to a protein found on leukaemia cells and the immune system then targets and kills the cells.
Surgery to remove the spleen is rarely usedas a treatment forhairy cell leukaemia.However, removal of your spleen may be recommended if:
As with most types of cancer, the outlook for hairy cell leukaemia will depend on how far the conditionhas advanced at the time of diagnosis and how well it responds to treatment.
As hairy cell leukaemia is arare type of cancer, it's difficult to accurately predict how it will affect individuals in the long term.
The Cancer Research UK website has more information about:
Types of treatment for hairy cell leukaemia
Staging hairy cell leukaemia
Living with hairy cell leukaemia
Hairy cell leukaemia is a rare type of chronic leukaemia that gets its name from the hair-like strands around the cancerous cells.
The symptoms of hairy cell leukaemia develop slowly and aresimilar tothose ofother types of leukaemia. They include: unintentional weightloss pale skin weakness, tiredness and breathlessness fr
Ifyour GPsuspects leukaemia, they may refer you to a haematologist (a specialist in blood disorders). The haematologist will carry out blood tests to determine how many different types of blood cells
As hairy cell leukaemia develops slowly, immediate treatmentmay not be needed. You'll have regular blood tests to monitor your condition. Treatment may be recommended ifthe number of abnormal white b