Risk Factors & Symptoms

Risk Factors for CLL

Factors that put you at increased risk for CLL include:

  • Age (over 55)
  • Family history (two or more close relatives who have had CLL or another cancer involving the lymphatic system.
  • Gender (male)
  • Race / Ethnicity (African, Russian or European heritage)
  • Exposure to chemicals, especially Agent Orange, a herbicide used extensively during the Vietnam War

Symptoms of CLL

In the early stages, most people with CLL do not have any symptoms. However, when symptoms appear, they may include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes (but no pain)
  • Continuing fatigue
  • Fever
  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Anemia (too few red blood cells)
  • Night sweats
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Frequent infections
  • Pain or swelling in the top left of the abdomen, usually caused by an enlarged spleen