Chronic Leukemia Cancer

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) | Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

Risk Factors


  • Certain Chemical Exposures – Some studies have linked exposure to Agent Orange, an herbicide used during the Vietnam War, & have suggested that farming & long-term exposure to some pesticides to an increased risk of CLL.
  • Family History – First-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) of CLL patients have a 2- to 4-fold increased risk.
  • Gender – Slightly more common in males than females


  • High-dose Radiation Exposure – Being exposed to high-dose radiation (such as being a survivor of an atomic bomb blast or nuclear reactor accident).
  • Age & Gender – The risk of getting CML increases with age.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

    (CLL) & (CML)

  • Weakness
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Anemia
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes (felt as lumps under the skin)
  • Pain or a sense of “fullness” in the belly (especially after eating a small meal), which is caused by an enlarged spleen.


At this time, there are no special tests done to find chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) early. Still, many people with CLL or CML have no symptoms at the time their cancer is found. In these cases, the cancer is found by blood tests done for some other reason. However, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, the best way to find it early is to report any possible signs or symptoms to the doctor right away.

Early Detection Saves Lives!

This information was provided by the American Cancer Society. © 2013 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. The American Cancer Society is a qualified 501[c][3] tax-exempt organization.