Hairy cell leukemia
is rare. It occurs mostly in people aged 40-60 and is more common in men than in women. HCL usually develops very slowly. HCL affects a type of white blood cell called a B‑lymphocyte. When this cell is examined under a microscope, it looks as if it has hair-like outgrowths (projections) on its surface. This is where HCL
gets its name from.
In HCL, the abnormal white blood cells also build up in the spleen and cause it to grow. An enlarged spleen may remove normal blood cells from the bloodstream. This can also reduce the number of red blood cells and normal white blood cells. The causes of HCL
are unknown. It is not infectious and cannot be passed on to other people.
Journal of Leukemia
, Blood, Blood Disorders & Transfusion, Blood & Lymph, Cancer Clinical Trials, Journal of Leukemia and Lymphoma, Leukemia and Lymphoma, Seminars in Hematology, Current Opinion in Oncology, Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Current Cancer Drug Targets