CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukaemia) symptoms and diagnosis
CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukaemia) symptoms
Many people don’t have any symptoms at all when they’re diagnosed with CLL. In fact it’s common to be diagnosed after a routine blood test for another reason.
Fatigue and CLL
Fatigue is a very common symptom at all stages of CLL, and many people will experience it at the point of diagnosis. It’s a type of extreme tiredness that comes on quickly and can take time to go away.
There are things you can do to manage fatigue so you can carry on as normally as possible. Take a look at our information on blood cancer and fatigue, including people’s stories about how they cope with fatigue in their daily lives.
Other symptoms of CLL
Other symptoms are more common in advanced CLL and are rare at diagnosis, when most people feel well.
If you experience any of these symptoms at any stage of CLL, tell your GP or hospital team. It will help them decide whether it’s time to start treatment.
- getting tired or breathless more quickly
- swollen lymph nodes (glands), usually in your neck, armpits, groin, or under your collarbone
- repeated infections such as colds and flu
- losing weight quickly when you’ve not been trying
- high temperature (fever) without any other signs of infection
- drenching night sweats that soak your night clothes and bedding.
Because CLL affects the immune system, people with CLL are at higher risk of getting infection like flu, pneumonia, covid-19 and shingles. If you have CLL or know someone who does, read our information about CLL and infections.
Not diagnosed but worried about symptoms?
Having any of these symptoms does not mean you have CLL or any other type of blood cancer. But if you are experiencing symptoms that are unusual for you, go on for a long time or are worrying you, contact your GP and describe your symptoms as clearly as you can.
Our free pocket guide to blood cancer symptoms can help you record your symptoms for discussion with your GP.
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