What are the Symptoms of Leukemia?

Rachel Burkot

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells and bone marrow, during which too many blood cells multiply. Symptoms of the illness vary widely, as there are a few different types of leukemia, and additionally, symptoms of leukemia in children differ from symptoms in adults. When symptoms of leukemia first appear, the patient should not immediately assume he or she has cancer, as the early symptoms are vague and can be assumed to be signs of a number of illnesses or problems.

Samples of blood from a healthy person and from one with leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
Samples of blood from a healthy person and from one with leukemia, a type of blood cancer.

Two major divisions of leukemia are acute and chronic. With acute leukemia, the patient’s immature blood cells increase quickly, crowding the bone marrow and preventing it from producing healthy blood cells. The malignant cells can easily be released into the bloodstream and other organs of the body. In chronic leukemia, more mature white blood cells build up at an alarmingly high rate. Acute leukemia is more common in children, while chronic leukemia is generally experienced by older patients.

Leukemia symptoms may include fever and fatigue.
Leukemia symptoms may include fever and fatigue.

Early symptoms of leukemia are likely to be experienced more fully by acute leukemia patients. Symptoms of acute leukemia include fever, infections, lethargy and lumps on the neck, armpit or stomach. Symptoms of chronic leukemia take longer to develop and include fatigue, weight loss, sweating, fever and pain below the ribs. Symptoms experienced by both acute and chronic patients include pain, headache, paleness, bleeding or bruising easily, loss of appetite, pain in the bones or joints, a feeling of general discomfort, infection, fever, reduced ability to exercise, red spots under the skin and enlarged liver, spleen and lymph nodes.

Stem cells therapy has shown promise for treating leukemia.
Stem cells therapy has shown promise for treating leukemia.

If a person is experiencing the symptoms of leukemia, he or she should see a doctor immediately for an official diagnosis. Experiencing some of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate cancer, however, because they can apply to a number of illnesses; there are no specific indicators of the cancer that a patient can identify without a doctor’s analysis. When a patient claims to experience symptoms of leukemia, a doctor will check for abdominal or lymph node swelling, abnormal bleeding or bruising and abnormal blood test results. Swelling occurs when the large number of white blood cells collects in one region of the body, while bruising and bleeding is caused by too few platelets, blood cells that clump together to thwart bleeding in the body. Blood tests measure a patient’s red and white blood cells and platelets, and too many white blood cells can be a sign of leukemia.

Abnormal bleeding or bruising could be a symptom of leukemia in children.
Abnormal bleeding or bruising could be a symptom of leukemia in children.
Symptoms of leukemia in children differ from the symptoms in adults.
Symptoms of leukemia in children differ from the symptoms in adults.
A fever may be a symptom of leukemia in children.
A fever may be a symptom of leukemia in children.

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Discussion Comments

anon170955

How will i know whether am suffering or not, because few symptoms are matching? is there any other option rather than going to the doctor because I don't want to undergo any tests.

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