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Can CLL cause pain and swelling in knees and ankles and increase in WBC count?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 243 Questions
i am 47 208lbs and 6 ft tall. I have been diagnosed with cll 2months ago. i went to the dr. to see why my knees and ankles are in so much pain and swelling. they found my wbc count very high so then off to oncologist for a ct scan and complete blood work. they want to schedule me for a pet scan then biopsy a lymphnode because all of my cancer cells werent showing the markers.what does that mean?why wouldnt it show all the markings?when asking him twice about the swelling being related to cll he evaded the question and didnt give me an answer. my rbc &platelet count are fine my spleen slightly enlarged my liver fine. all lymphnodes swollen but slightly. No one has called to shcedule my pet when i call them they say no hurry slow growing cancer.meanwhile no other doctor would look at my ankles and knees if they thought related to the cll. i am scared to death its the cancer making my knees and ankles hurt. what is your opinion please help and why arnt my cancer cells showing all of the markings?
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Blood Cancer(Leukemia)
Answered by Dr. Sapan J. Pandya 4 hours later

Thanks for the query.
Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia (white blood cells cancer). CLL affects B cell lymphocytes. B cells take birth in the bone marrow, grow in the lymph nodes. Their function is to fight infection by producing antibodies. In CLL, the genetic material of
B cell is damaged, so that it cannot produce effective antibodies. Additionally, B cells grow out of control and accumulate in the bone marrow and blood, where they outgrow healthy blood cells.

As for pain in knee and ankle, there is not much relation between CLL and your joints. That is there are no signs and symptoms of CLL which have any relation with your joints. But sometimes there is over-activity of the bone marrow of long bones (thigh and leg bones), which lead to such pains. Also the cancer cells have deposited in the bone marrow causing such pains.

The spread of Cancer cells can be checked with PET Scan. If your OncoPhysician is not taking interest, you may take initiative and take an appointment of PET scan as early as possible.

As for cancer markers, not all cancer cells can be properly marked by them. There are specific cancer markers for specific cancers. Sometimes the mutation is so much that the marking is not possible.

Hope this answers your query, I am available for follow ups as well.
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