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Signs & Symptoms

Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML)

Ph+ CML symptoms

Many people are diagnosed in the early stage of Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) and do not have any obvious signs or symptoms. Often Ph+ CML is found during a routine blood test when results show a high white blood cell count.

Those who do experience chronic myeloid leukemia symptoms may report the following:

  • Feeling unusually tired
  • Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities
  • Fever
  • Bone pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness on the upper left side of the belly area (abdomen), under the ribs
  • Unusual sweating at night

Ph+ CML phases

There are 3 phases of Ph+ CML: chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase. Your doctor will determine your phase largely based on the percentage of immature white blood cells—known as blast cells—as compared with other blood cells in the bone marrow.

Most adults with Ph+ CML are diagnosed in the chronic phase, which is the first phase of the disease. Importantly, most people in this phase respond well to treatment. If chronic phase Ph+ CML is left untreated, it will progress to the accelerated phase. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor about treatment options.

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* Based on World Health Organization criteria.