Symptoms of CLL
Many people with chronic leukaemia have no symptoms. Often the disease is diagnosed after a routine blood test shows a high white blood cell count. In the early stages, symptoms tend to be mild and develop slowly.
Symptoms may include:
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms or groin
- pain and/or feeling of fullness in the abdomen after eating only small amounts – caused by an enlarged spleen
- tiredness – caused by a lack of red blood cells
- frequent and persistent infections – caused by a lack of normal white blood cells leading to lowered immunity
- bruising or bleeding – caused by low levels of platelets
- excessive sweating at night
- high temperature (fever) without any other signs of infection
- weight loss.
Not everyone with these symptoms has chronic leukaemia, but if you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to see your doctor.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Kate Melville, Haematology Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, The University of Newcastle; Karl Jobburn, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Haematology, Liverpool Hospital; Patricia Masters, Consumer; Karen Robinson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Dr Emma Verner, Staff Specialist, Haematology, and Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant and Apheresis Unit, Concord Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney.
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