Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Leukemia - Chronic Myeloid - CML

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 6/2013
Symptoms and Signs

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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, use the menu on the side of your screen.

People with CML may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with CML 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.

  • Fatigue or weakness, such as shortness of breath while doing everyday activities
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling or discomfort due to an enlarged spleen. This may be particularly noticeable in the upper left part of the abdomen.
  • Feeling full when you have not eaten much
  • Itching
  • Bone pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infections

CML progresses slowly, and symptoms may not appear for a long time. The symptoms are usually mild at first and get worse slowly. Some people do not have any symptoms when they are diagnosed with CML.

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 have been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If leukemia 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.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.  

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