Read about why there isn't a screening programme in the UK for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).
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. Some 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.