Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Leukemia - B-cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia and Hairy Cell Leukemia

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 5/2013
Symptoms and Signs

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

People with HCL or PLL may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with HCL or PLL do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor.

  • Enlarged lymph nodes in PLL. In HCL, hairy cells build up more often in the spleen and bone marrow and may not cause noticeable lymph node swelling.
  • Tendency to bruise easily
  • Slow wound healing
  • Weight loss
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Persistent, unexplained abdominal pain on the left side, due to an enlarged spleen
  • Frequent infections

Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long you’ve been experiencing the symptoms(s) and how often.

If HCL or PLL is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

Choose “Next” (below, right) to continue reading this guide to learn about what tests and scans you may have to learn more about the cause of your symptoms. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

© 2005-2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.

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