Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) symptoms & diagnosis
Because chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a chronic disease that develops gradually the symptoms are not always obvious at first. A quarter of all patients will not experience any symptoms until after they are diagnosed – usually while having a routine blood test for some other illness.
The symptoms of CML are very non-specific and can be confused with those of other common illnesses such as flu. They can be very mild and tend to come on gradually.
The most common symptoms include:
- Unusual bleeding and bruising
- Frequent and persistent infections
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Increased sweating
- Abdominal pain due to swelling of the spleen and liver
These symptoms are caused by a lack of healthy red and white cells and platelets in the blood. Patients may only experience some of these symptoms.
Less common symptoms
Other, less common symptoms, that tend to develop once CML has progressed to a more advanced stage include:
- High fever and night sweats
- Bone pain
- Severe tiredness and paleness caused by anaemia, which is a lack of red blood cells