Hairy Cell Leukemia
Hairy cell leukemia is a very rare cancer that causes the body to make too many white blood cells (lymphocytes). Hairy cell leukemia has this name because the lymphocytes look hairy under a microscope.
HCL may grow very slowly or it may not get worse. So it often does not need to be treated right away. It is more common in men than in women. It occurs more often in adults in their 50s and is not seen in children or teens.
HCL is considered a chronic disease, because it does not ever go away completely. But treatment can keep symptoms away for long periods of time. And if a person who has HCL is under the care of a doctor, he or she can have a normal life expectancy.
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