Leukaemia, chronic myeloid


Some cases of chronicmyeloid leukaemia (CML) are detected during blood tests carried out for another reason.

But you should visit your GP if you have worrying symptoms of CML, such as persistent tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, unexplained weight loss or night sweats.

Seeing your GP

Your GP will ask aboutyour symptoms and may carry out a simple examination to check for otherproblems, such as swelling inone side of your tummy.

Theymay alsosend a sample of your blood to a laboratory so it can be checked for possible causes of your symptoms.

Avery high level of white blood cells in your blood could be a sign of leukaemia. If this is detected, you'll be referred to a haematologist (specialist in blood conditions) for furthertests.

Confirming the diagnosis

To confirm a diagnosis ofleukaemia,a sample of your bone marrow will need to be removed during a procedure called a bone marrow Biopsy .

During a biopsy:

  • an area of skin at the back of your hip is numbed with local anaesthetic
  • a needle is used to remove a small sample of bone marrow
  • youmay experience some discomfort while it's carried out, butit shouldn't be painful

The procedureusually takes around 15 minutes and you won't normally need to stay in hospital overnight. You mayhave some bruising and discomfort for a few days afterwards.

Your bone marrow will be checked for cancerous cells and the cells will be analysed to identify which type of leukaemia you have and how advanced it is.

This can help your doctors determine the best treatment for you.Read about how CML is treated .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 12 Sep 2016