Production of red blood cells and platelets is also disrupted.
Consequently, patients typically experience the fatigue and weakness of severe anemia.
They also bruise and bleed easily, because their blood does not clot properly; bleeding into joints causes severe arthritis like pain; pain in the bone and joints; enlarged lymph nodes, spleen, and liver; weight loss; night sweats; generally ill feeling; possible headache, vomiting, confusion, loss of muscle control, and seizures.
About 25% of patients with a chronic leukemia can go for years without experiencing obvious symptoms.
The cancer is frequently discovered by accident or when a routine blood test.