Leukemia - Chronic Myeloid - CML: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2018

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.

People with CML may experience the following symptoms or signs. Or, the cause of a symptom may be another medical condition that is not leukemia. However, CML usually progresses slowly, meaning symptoms may not appear for a long time. The symptoms are usually mild at first and get worse slowly. And often, people with CML do not have any symptoms. CML is most commonly found with a blood test taken for another reason.

  • 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

If you are concerned about any changes you experience, 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. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.