Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Leukemia - Chronic T-Cell Lymphocytic

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, 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. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor.

  • Recurrent infections from low numbers of neutrophils (infection-fighting white blood cells)
  • Bleeding or bruising easily
  • Unexplained tiredness (fatigue)
  • 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)

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 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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