Complications

CLL is rarely a fatal disease, but its complications can be life threatening.

With the excellent treatments that we have, few people die of CLL. However, complications related to the effects of CLL and/or its treatment can shorten lives. Infections, especially respiratory infections, are dangerous for CLL patients. Second cancers are common in CLL patients. Autoimmune problems, where the body attacks the red blood cells, known as autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) or attacks the platelets, immune thrombocytopenic anemia purpura (ITP), can be life threatening. Medications to treat CLL all have the risk of side effects, including some potential serious ones, such as suppressed blood counts, infections, second cancers, and cardiovascular complications.

Action Item for Complications

Don’t ignore any minor infections. Don’t neglect your non-CLL health issues, such as any cardiovascular or other comorbidities.

Don’t ignore any minor infections. Don’t neglect your non-CLL health issues, such as any cardiovascular or other comorbidities.

Helpful Articles About Complications

Please read these brief, informative articles, get all age- and gender-appropriate cancer screenings, and keep up-to-date with your vaccines.

ADDITIONAL READING

In this interview, our own Dr. Brian Koffman spoke with Dr. Joshua Hill, an infectious disease specialist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, WA, about monkeypox and the current outbreak. Dr. Hill specializes in the infectious disease care of cancer and other immunocompromised patients.