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Hairy Cell Leukemia Treatment

Stages of Hairy Cell Leukemia

There is no standard staging system for hairy cell leukemia.

Staging is the process used to find out how far the cancer has spread. Groups are used in place of stages for hairy cell leukemia. The disease is grouped as untreated, progressive, or refractory.

Untreated hairy cell leukemia

The hairy cell leukemia is newly diagnosed and has not been treated except to relieve symptoms such as weight loss and infections. In untreated hairy cell leukemia, some or all of the following conditions occur:

Progressive hairy cell leukemia

In progressive hairy cell leukemia, the leukemia has been treated with either chemotherapy or splenectomy (removal of the spleen) and one or both of the following conditions occur:

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

When cancer cells spread outside the blood, a solid tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The three ways that cancer cells spread in the body are:

The new (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary cancer. For example, if leukemia cells spread to the brain, the cancer cells in the brain are actually leukemia cells. The disease is metastatic leukemia, not brain cancer.