Leukemia - Chronic T-Cell Lymphocytic: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 09/2015

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 T-cell leukemia may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with T-cell leukemia do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not leukemia.

  • Recurrent infections from low numbers of infection-fighting white blood cells called neutrophils

  • Bleeding or bruising easily

  • Unexplained tiredness

  • Persistent, unexplained abdominal pain on the left side from a swollen spleen (LGLL, T-PLL)

  • Swollen lymph nodes (T-PLL, ATLL)

  • Rash or skin lesions (T-PLL, ATLL, Sezary syndrome)

  • Frequent urination and/or constipation from high levels of calcium in the blood, called hypercalcemia (ATLL).

  • Itching involving the skin (ATLL, Sezary syndrome)

If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If leukemia is diagnosed, relieving symptoms 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 in this guide is Diagnosis and it explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.