Staging is useful in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Once diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor determines the extent (stage) of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the body. At the moment, CLL has no standard staging system. In fact, two different staging systems are used (The Rai staging system and the Binet classification). Each assigns a stage - early, intermediate or advanced - that indicates the progression of a person's chronic lymphocytic leukemia. These levels are used to determine your treatment options.
Stage 0 - characterized by absolute lymphocytosis without adenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, or thrombocytopenia.
Stage 1 - characterized by absolute lymphocytosis with lymphadenopathy without hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, or thrombocytopenia.
Stage 2 - characterized by absolute lymphocytosis with either hepatomegaly or splenomegaly with or without lymphadenopathy.
Stage 3- characterized by absolute lymphocytosis and anemia with or without lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, or splenomegaly.
Stage 4 - characterized by absolute lymphocytosis and thrombocytopenia with or without lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, or anemia.
In general, people diagnosed with early-stage leukemia don't require immediate treatment. Those with intermediate-stage disease and advanced-stage disease may be given the option to begin treatment right away. Nonetheless, staging helps you and your doctor work together to determine a treatment plan. Common treatment regimes for leukemia are presented and discussed in the following section. More on leukemia treatments here.