CLL Leukemia Life Expectancy

August 7th, 2013

CLL Leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a blood disease involving the bone marrow. It is a disorder in which immunologically less mature lymphocytes are also morphologically mature. This means that while the lymphocytes or white blood cells are already mature in form and structure, they are less able to provide an appropriate immune response.

Data from the 1970s to the 1990s placed the survival media rate of patients as ranging from 8 to 12 years.  In 2013, the estimated new cases and deaths from CLL in the United States stand at:

New cases: 15,680

Deaths: 4,578

Life Expectancy

CLL Leukemia can slowly progress but it has been noted that an average of 5 to 7 or more years can be considered for life expectancy. However, the continued revolution of treatments and therapy for CLL has taken center stage, increasing the life expectancy of those who are diagnosed. The treatment plan of a patient from his/her doctor, if followed strictly, could determine the outcome of the success rate.

A patient’s life expectancy depends on various factors:

  • Health – this is a major factor in determining the predictive life expectancy for CLL Leukemia patients. Should a patient have pancreatic cancer, the life expectancy goes lower, and life expectancy will be measured in months instead of years.
  • Age – children have a higher life expectancy rate compared to younger adults. Younger adults have a higher life expectancy rate compared to older adults over the age of 60.
  • Severity of Illness – life expectancy differs depending on the diagnosed stage of CLL Leukemia
  • Treatment – in 1960, all types of leukemia had a five-year survival rate of about 14%. Due to scientific progress in treatments and therapy, the five-year survival rate has now increased by 50%.

Rai Stage System

The National Cancer Institute advises distinguishing CLL leukemia patients by life expectancy into three groups using the Rai Stage System.

Low-Risk Group

Rai Stage 0

Patients are expected to have an average life expectancy of 14 years or more.

Intermediate-Risk Group

Rai Stage 1

Patients have an average life expectancy of around 8 years or more.

Rai Stage 2

Patients have an average life expectancy that could range from 5-6 years or more.

High-Risk Group

Rai Stage 3

Patients have an average life expectancy of around 3-4 years

Rai Stage 4

Patients have an average life expectancy of 3 years

Indolent CLL

  • Some patients diagnosed with CLL have an “indolent” or idle disease.
  • They have a long double time of peripheral lymphocyte count (more than 1 year).
  • They have the best survival rate of 8 years or more, up to a normal life span, without need for any kind of therapy.

CLL Leukemia has a large variation of patient survival ranging from several months to normal life expectancy, depending on the stage of the diseases and the personal circumstances. As such, treatment must be individualized and based solely on the clinical behavior of CLL.

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Related posts:

What is CLL Leukemia?
How to Reduce Your Risk of CLL Leukemia
CLL Leukemia or Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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