What is CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and what is SLL (small lymphocytic lymphoma)?
CLL is a chronic (slow growing) blood cancer that shows up as a progressive accumulation of incompetent mature B-lymphocytes. 90% of the time it presents as too many lymphocytes in the blood stream but in less than 10% of us it shows up only in the lymph nodes and is then called SLL. To sum up: CLL and SLL are the same disease, presenting at different stages.
Our medical director answers the most basic questions about CLL sitting in front of a lithograph by Ferdinand Leger found under car parts in a friend’s garage: