Common symptoms of HCL includes persistently feeling tired, weakness, weight loss for no reason, shortness of breath, excessive sweating (most often at night), swollen lymph nodes, frequent infections and fevers, small red spots on the skin. The main treatment for hairy cell leukemia is chemotherapy, purine analog drugs either cladribine (2-CdA) or pentostatin, monoclonal antibody rituximab, surgery or interferon alpha.
The disease occurs predominantly in middle-aged men, with a median age of 52 years. The male-to-female ratio is 4:1 to 5:1. The number of new cases of leukemia was 13.3 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 7.0 per 100,000 men and women per year. The percent surviving (58.5%) will survive for 5 years.