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Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) symptoms and diagnosis

We're here for you if you want to talk

0808 2080 888

[email protected]

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) symptoms

If you’ve been diagnosed with CML, you may have noticed some symptoms before your diagnosis. It’s important to remember that not everyone will get all, or even any, of the symptoms listed here. Each person is different.

Symptoms in the chronic phase

Many of the symptoms in the chronic phase are very common and are often caused by other things. They usually develop very slowly and include:

  • tiredness or fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • loss of appetite
  • unexplained weight loss
  • increased sweating, particularly at night
  • bloating, swelling, general discomfort and sometimes pain around the stomach area (caused by an enlarged spleen)
  • blurred vision
  • unusual or excessive bleeding, for example from your gums or nose
  • in men, long-lasting, painful erections (priapism).

Symptoms in the accelerated phase

Your symptoms won’t normally change much from the chronic phase to the accelerated phase, but you may notice an increase in bone pain. Your healthcare team will run tests to look for changes in your blood, bone marrow and blast count to check for signs of development to this phase.

This stage sometimes suggests CML is changing to the blast phase, so your healthcare team will monitor you closely to check for any signs of this.

Symptoms in the blast phase

In addition to the fatigue, tiredness and unexpected weight loss mentioned above, people in the blast phase often notice extra symptoms, including:

  • fever
  • bone pain
  • bruising more easily than normal
  • painful or unusual bleeding, for example from your gums or nose
  • repeated infections
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headaches (if blast cells are in the fluid around the brain and spinal cord).

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