SLL and CLL develop when B-cells become abnormal (cancerous). B-cells are white blood cells that normally help fight infection. They are sometimes called B-lymphocytes. Although they have different names, they develop from the same type of B-cell.
Previously, when the abnormal B-cells were mostly in the lymph nodes and spleen, the type of blood cancer was called SLL. When the abnormal B-cells were mostly in the blood and bone marrow, it was called CLL. Most people have abnormal cells in the lymph nodes, spleen, blood and bone marrow. This is why SLL and CLL now considered to be the same condition.
It is more common as people get older. It usually develops slowly. You may not need treatment straightaway.
For healthcare professionals
If you are a healthcare professional, use our guide to find the right information and support for your patients affected by lymphoma. This explains the support available from Macmillan and from other trusted organisations.
Talk to someone about small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
Everyone has their own way of dealing with illness and the different emotions they experience. You may find it helpful to talk things over with family and friends or your doctor or nurse.
Macmillan is also here to support you. If you would like to talk, you can:
More information and advice
We know cancer can affect you physically, emotionally and financially. We have information and advice about different ways cancer might impact you, such as help with:
Booklets and resources
Other organisations who offer information and support
The organisations below also offer information and support:
Blood Cancer UK
Supporting someone with lymphoma
When someone you know is diagnosed with lymphoma, it can be difficult to know how to support them. You may want information to help you understand what they are going through. Or you may be worried about what to say.
We have information to help with the practical, emotional and financial impacts of supporting someone. You can also talk to us by:
Booklets and resources
We are working to make our website as accessible as possible. We want everyone to be able to use it to find the information they need. We have tips about using settings on your computer or device to help you use our website in our accessibility statement.
We also provide information in a range of languages and formats. If you cannot find the information you are looking for in the format or language you need, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is the same condition as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) you may find our resources about CLL helpful.
Order our Understanding chronic lymphocytic leukaemia booklet
It is quick, easy and free to order our booklet Understanding chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) on be.Macmillan.org.uk
Sign up to create your free be.Macmillan account. Log into your account and choose the booklets you want to order. Complete your order and we will send your items in the post.
Find our chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) booklet ebook and pdf
If you prefer a pdf, ePub or Mobi version, our Understanding chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) booklet is available in these formats.
Booklets and resources
Find non-Hodgkin lymphoma information in your language
We have a range of translated cancer information. This includes information about different cancer types, being diagnosed, cancer treatment, and side effects. We have some lymphoma information in the following languages. You can also search our most up to date list of web pages we have translated on request.
- Bulgarian - Mantle cell lymphoma / Мантелноклетъчен лимфом [PDF]
- German - Follicular lymphoma / Follikuläres Lymphom (FL) [PDF]
- Polish - Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) / Chłoniak rozlany z dużych komórek B [PDF]
- Polish - Lymphoma / Chłoniak [PDF]
- Slovak - Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) / Anaplastický veľkobunkový lymfóm [PDF]
- Slovak - Follicular lymphoma / Folikulový lymfóm [PDF]
- Tamil - Follicular lymphoma [PDF]
If you would like any of our lymphoma information translated into your language, please email email@example.com
Watch British sign language videos
You can watch our BSL videos about cancer on YouTube.
Find our easy read booklets
Our easy read booklets use simple words and pictures to tell you about cancer. They can be useful if you want information that is easier to understand.
Looking for large print, Braille or another format?
Below is a sample of the sources used in our small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Blood and bone marrow cancers. NICE Pathways. Last accessed 3 December 2020.
Eichhorst B, Robak T, et al on behalf of the ESMO Guidelines Committee. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology. 2020. Volume 32 (issue 1), P23-33. Available from: Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up - Annals of Oncology
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Anne Parker, Consultant Haematologist.
Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.