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Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL)

What is small lymphocytic lymphoma?

Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is a rare cancer of the immune system that impacts B-cells. It is a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is typically found in the lymph nodes. 

What are the symptoms of small lymphocytic lymphoma?

SLL symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the armpit, neck, and/or groin
    • This swelling is painless
  • Night sweats
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Easy bruising
  • Shortness of breath
  • A tender and swollen stomach
  • Feeling of fullness

What causes small lymphocytic lymphoma?

Medical professionals aren’t sure what causes this cancer. 

How is small lymphocytic lymphoma diagnosed?

Doctors will first perform a physical exam, in which they will check for swollen lymph nodes and spleen. They may also utilize blood tests, X-rays, and CT scans. A biopsy of a lymph node will confirm the diagnosis. 

What are the treatments for small lymphocytic lymphoma?

If SLL is caught in the early stages, doctors may recommend withholding treatment and opt to monitor it. However, if the cancer begins to spread or the patient becomes symptomatic, treatment is necessary. For cancer confined to the lymph nodes, radiation therapy is used. If the cancer has spread, doctors will utilize chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and a monoclonal antibody drug. 

Where can I find out more about small lymphocytic lymphoma?

SLL Articles