Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

What is CLL?

Every year in New Zealand around 320 people are diagnosed with Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). It is the most common form of leukaemia in New Zealand.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a type of slow-growing leukaemia that affects developing B-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Under normal conditions they produce antibodies that help protect our bodies against infection and disease. In people with CLL lymphocytes undergo a malignant (cancerous change) and become leukaemic cells.

CLL usually develops and progresses slowly over many months or years. However in some cases people may need to be treated soon after they are diagnosed.