Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. B-cells are a specific type of lymph cell that affect a body’s immune system. There are two types of B-cell leukemia: prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL) and hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the most common form of leukemia and is characterized by production of an excessive number of white blood cells.
Persistent fatigue, weakness; frequent infections; weight loss without trying; swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen; easy bleeding or bruising; tiny red spots in the skin (petechiae); and bone pain or tenderness.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences focused on chronic lymphocytic leukemia in its report "Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2002" and concluded that there is sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to herbicides and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In 2003, VA recognized chronic lymphocytic leukemia as related to exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service.