Symptoms of CML

Because chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a chronic disease that can take years to progress, you may at first have few symptoms of CML or none at all. That's true for many people diagnosed with CML in the chronic phase. Your doctor may even find CML unexpectedly, when you get a blood test for some other reason. There's no need to blame yourself.

Some of the symptoms that may occur are:

  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Excessive night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain in your bones
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling or discomfort in your abdomen from
    an enlarged spleen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness

Some of these chronic myeloid leukemia symptoms are explained by a shortage of healthy blood cells, which have been overcome by unhealthy blast cells:

  • Fatigue and shortness of breath can be caused by a low number of red blood cells,
    known as anemia.
  • Fever can be caused by infections. The risk of infection can increase if you have an abnormally low number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. This condition is called neutropenia.
  • Bruising or bleeding can occur if your platelets are abnormally low, a condition
    called thrombocytopenia.

Experiencing any of these possible symptoms of CML is something you should take seriously. It could be a sign that your treatment isn't working as it should to hold back the spread of your leukemia, or it can mean that you are experiencing side effects from your treatment. You should contact your doctor or nurse.

This Web site is not meant to replace a discussion with your doctor, who is your most important source for information.

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