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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Hairy cell leukemia


Other Names for this Disease
  • HCL
  • Leukemic reticuloendotheliosis
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Overview


Hairy cell leukemia is a rare, slow-growing cancer of the blood in which the bone marrow makes too many B cells (lymphocytes), a type of white blood cell that fights infection. The condition is named after these excess B cells which look 'hairy' under a microscope. As the number of leukemia cells increases, fewer healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are produced. The underlying cause of this condition is unknown. While there is no cure, treatment can lead to remission which can last for years.[1][2]  
Last updated: 4/3/2012

References

  1. Hairy cell leukemia. MayoClinic.com. March 21, 2012; http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/hairy-cell-leukemia/DS00673/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Accessed 4/3/2012.
  2. Dugdale DC, Mason JR. Hairy cell leukemia. MedlinePlus. September 6, 2010; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000592.htm. Accessed 4/3/2012.
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Basic Information

  • MayoClinic.com has an article related to hairy cell leukemia. Click on the link to gain access to this information.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.  Click on the link to view information on this topic. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

General Information

  • Medscape Reference has two articles on this topic; a general article and an article related to treatment protocols. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference has two articles on this topic; a general article and an article related to treatment protocols. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Hairy cell leukemia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.