Can CLL be hereditary?

Posted by twentyfour7 @twentyfour7, Feb 20 5:51am

Is it possible there is a genetic component to this disease? In my family history, my grandmother, my aunt and my mother — and oddly enough, my father— all passed away as a result of CLL. Both my parents also had lymphoma. I was diagnosed in 2017 with CLL, which I’m told is currently in a slow-moving state. Does anyone else have a similar familial pattern? My doctor told me that having 2 parents die of the same 2 cancers is unusual.

Hello @twentyfour7. Good question. From what I found, there are hints that it is possible that a family history of blood cancers can put a person at a higher risk of developing CLL. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352428 says, "Family history of blood and bone marrow cancers. A family history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia or other blood and bone marrow cancers may increase your risk." @twentyfour7, here are a few other discussions on CLL you may find worth your time exploring:

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cll-referral-to-cll-specialist/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cll-1/

Here are a few stories from the Hematology Page here on Connect where I sat down with a few Mayo Clinic Hematologists to chat about different aspects of CLL:

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/hematology/newsfeed-post/cll-what-is-watch-wait-and-what-can-a-patient-do-during-this-phase/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/hematology/newsfeed-post/chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia-changes-in-frontline-treatment/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/hematology/newsfeed-post/cll-mayo-clinics-approach-to-diagnosis/

@twentyfour7, are you currently in the 'watch & wait' phase of your diagnosis? How are you feeling?

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Hi Justin,
Thank you for the links. I will read them right away. Yes, I am in the Watch and Wait phase according to my hematologist. Stage 0 he calls it, so I'm grateful for that. I feel well enough other than being afflicted with Burning Mouth Syndrome (hideous malady) which has me wondering if the 2 are related. Do you also have CLL? Very nice to "meet" you.

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I am caregiver for my mother who has CLL. Her doctor told us that around 92% of CLL is not familial which I took to mean that most of the time, it is not hereditary. Other studies may show something different, this is just what he told us in her appointment. My maternal grandmother also had CLL when she died, but we didn't know until the autopsy. She never told anyone she was sick. This is why we asked the question.

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