Screening for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) | Cancer Research UK
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Screening for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

Men and women discussing chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

This page is about screening for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Screening means testing people for the early stages of a disease, before they show any signs of having it.

The aim of screening is to diagnose cancer

  • At an early stage
  • Before symptoms start
  • When it is easier to treat
  • When it is more likely to be curable

CLL is different from most cancers because it is not usually possible to cure it but it is a very slowly developing disease. And many people live for many years without symptoms or treatment. These people are monitored closely by their doctor. This monitoring is called watchful waiting. If the leukaemia starts to cause symptoms treatment can then control the CLL for a long time.

CLL affects mostly older people, many of whom will die from other causes. So for all these reasons there is no UK screening programme.

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Updated: 3 March 2015