CLL is a blood cancer. It affects your immune system and can leave you at risk of infectious disease. This includes lung infections.

“CLL makes it harder for your body to fight infections, even though pneumonia isn’t caused by CLL. CLL can cause additional lung problems, such as fluid build up and damage to the air sacs inside your lungs.”

In this article, we look at how chronic lymphocytic leukemia increases your risk of lung problems.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) doesn’t directly cause pneumonia. However, CLL does affect how your immune system operates. It changes the way your body produces a type of immune cell called lymphocytes. This makes it harder for you to fight off infections, including pneumonia and other lung infections.

Additionally, it’s possible for CLL to spread to your lungs. It’s estimated that around 2 percent of people with CLL also develop lung cancer. In some cases, this lung cancer is a result of CLL that has spread, but in other cases, the lung cancer tumors are separate.

Lung infections can cause coughing and trouble breathing, even when they’re not pneumonia. And infections are not the only lung complication that CLL can lead to.

Respiratory difficulties and lung problems can be experienced by people with CLL.

  • Enlarged lymph nodes. When the lymph nodes between your lungs swell, it can irritate your airways and make it difficult to breathe.
  • Alveoli damage. Your alveoli are the air sacs inside your lungs. They can bleed as a result of the CLL itself or from the medication you take to manage CLL.
  • Pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the blood vessels in your lungs. It’s normally caused by a blood clot.
  • Pulmonary leukostasis. A buildup of leukemia cells inside the blood vessels of your lungs is called pulmonary leukostasis. It can block the blood flow to your lungs.
  • Pleural effusion. A pleural effusion is the buildup of fluid around your lungs. It causes pain and The breath was very thin.. It can lead to a partial or even total lung collapse.

The symptoms of CLL can be similar to those of pneumonia. The symptoms of lung-related problems are discussed.

Pneumonia symptoms

Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

Symptoms of additional lung-related complications

The symptoms of other CLL lung-related complications can vary depending on what you develop. mucus from alveoli damage or another problem

A dry cough is usually caused by other problems. Symptoms will be included in almost all lung-related complications.

The treatment of lung problems in CLL involves both treating and continuing to treat the lung problems. Helping your body fight the infections is the first priority.

You might be given an antibiotic or antiviral medication. You might also receive additional anti-inflammatory medications, such as corticosteroids, to treat any inflammation.

The treatment for lung-related problems will depend on the case. Some treatments might include:

You’ll also continue to receive treatment for your CLL.

There’s no cure for CLL, but many patients benefit from treatments such as chemotherapy and targeted therapy. The right treatment for you depends on how far your CLL has progressed and your overall health.

There’s no way to completely prevent leukemia and other lung-related complications when you have CLL. However, you can lower your chances of developing leukemia and other infection-based lung complications by reducing your risk of infections.

Here are steps you can take to reduce your risk of infections:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Get a pneumonia shot.
  • Get any other vaccines recommended by your doctor.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water before eating or touching your face and especially:
    • After using the bathroom.
    • After touching animals.
    • After touching trash or unsanitary surfaces.
    • After returning home from crowded places.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes with you when you leave your house.
  • Gloves are used if you need to touch dirt.
  • Wear shoes or slippers when you are outdoors.
  • Cut all the wounds and bandage them up.
  • If possible, avoid large crowds.
  • When you need to be in a crowd, wear a mask.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Communal water and hot tub are not recommended.
  • cups left out overnight are a good example of standing water.
  • “Don’t share things with friends and family.”
  • Practice good daily personal hygiene (including dental hygiene).

Doctors may also recommend monthly IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) infusions for patients with:

  • More than two infections per year are the recurrent infections.
  • The circulating antibodies are low due to either the disease or the treatment.

IVIG can help prevent infections by containing healthy antibodies collected from donors.

You are at a higher risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia because of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

CLL can cause other damage to your respiratory system and can lead to lung related problems such as damaged blood vessels in your lungs.

Continue to treat your CLL while addressing lung-related problems will be the treatment of choice. You might take antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or other additional medications to help you breathe better as you continue your CLL treatment.

Discuss how to best treat and manage CLL with your doctor.