Ask the Doctor Question:
Why do I get night sweats?
Answer: Part of the reason you have night sweats when you have chronic lymphocytic leukemia is because your body turns up its internal thermostat to fight the cancer. It is somewhat of the same as an inflammatory response when your body is trying to fight off a virus. Night sweats are one of the common complications of CLL. Although the exact mechanism by which these occur is unknown, there is suspicion that the cancer cells release certain hormones, only during sleep, that cause patients to sweat. Because it is unknown exactly why this happens, it is hard to target the symptom with any known medicine. Finding relief can be a challenge. The obvious method is to treat the CLL directly.
If you haven’t already, please talk to your CLL specialist about your night sweats. We are not aware of your particular medical situation, but night sweats occurring for greater than one-month with no infection present can be a concerning “B symptom” to report to your healthcare team with CLL, which may indicate it is time for treatment to begin or be adjusted. Here is an article you might find helpful that talks about night sweats and starting treatment: