What are common signs and symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)? Dr. Lindsey Roeker reviews how CLL is typically diagnosed and symptoms that patients may experience.
Dr. Lindsey Roeker is a hematologic oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Learn more about Dr. Roeker here.
How is CLL diagnosed?
So, for most patients, CLL is diagnosed after a routine blood test shows a high white blood cell count. That’s kind of the most common way that we find people entering into our clinic. Other things that people can notice is they have lumps or bumps that they’ve felt in their neck or under their armpits. Those are some other symptoms that can lead to the diagnosis, but often once a patient finds that their white blood cell count is high, some additional testing is done, and the diagnosis of CLL is made.
What are some common symptoms of CLL? You mentioned the lumps and bumps.
So, often in early stages, the lumps and bumps in the neck are the most common that people recognize, but fevers or chills, night sweats, where patients are waking up drenched, having to change their pajamas, or weight loss without trying, are some other symptoms that can raise some alarm bells and make people start looking for something.
And CLL can be a diagnosis that can be found through that, as well.