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Symptoms of Leukemia

Symptoms of Leukemia: Introduction

Symptoms of leukemia can vary among individuals and differ depending on the specific type of leukemia. People with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or chronic myelogenous leukemia may not have any symptoms.

Symptoms of leukemia are caused by the high numbers of abnormal white blood cells that crowd out normal white blood cells, the body's infection fighting cells. The abnormal white blood cells of leukemia are not able to fight infections as effectively as the normal white blood cells. This results in symptoms, such as frequent infection, an ongoing low-grade fever, and night sweats.

The abnormal white blood cells of leukemia also crowd out red blood cells, resulting in anemia, a low number of red blood cells. This leads to symptoms, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin or pallor, and slow healing of wounds.

Leukemia can also result in lower numbers of platelet cells in the blood, which are needed for normal clotting. This results in impaired clotting and symptoms, such as excessive bleeding, easy bruising, and tiny red spots on the skin.

Other symptoms of leukemia can include loss of appetite, achiness in the joints and bones, and enlarged glands, such as and enlarged spleen or lymph nodes.

The abnormal white blood cells formed in leukemia also accumulate in the organs of the body, such as the spleen, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, testes, and brain, and interfere with normal organ functioning....more about Leukemia »

Symptoms of Leukemia

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Leukemia includes the 43 symptoms listed below:

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Leukemia: Symptom Checkers

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Leukemia: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Leukemia: Complications

Read information about complications of Leukemia.

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Leukemia:

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Do I have Leukemia?

Leukemia: Medical Mistakes

Leukemia: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Leukemia:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Leukemia?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Leukemia includes:

Leukemia: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Leukemia:

Leukemia cells are abnormal cells that cannot do what normal blood cells do. They cannot help the body fight infections. For this reason, people with leukemia often get infections and have fevers.

Also, people with leukemia often have less than the normal amount of healthy red blood cells and platelets. As a result, there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body. With this condition, called anemia , patients may look pale and feel weak and tired. When there are not enough platelets, patients bleed and bruise easily.

Like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, patients with leukemia may have a number of symptoms.

In acute leukemia, symptoms appear and get worse quickly. People with this disease go to their doctor because they feel sick. In chronic leukemia, symptoms may not appear for a long time; when symptoms do appear, they generally are mild at first and get worse gradually. Doctors often find chronic leukemia during a routine checkup -- before there are any symptoms.

These are some of the common symptoms of leukemia:

  • Fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms;

  • Weakness and fatigue;

  • Frequent infections;

  • Loss of appetite and/or weight;

  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes , liver , or spleen ;

  • Easy bleeding or bruising;

  • Tiny red spots (called petechiae ) under the skin;

  • Swollen or bleeding gums;

  • Sweating, especially at night; and/or

  • Bone or joint pain.

In acute leukemia, the abnormal cells may collect in the brain or spinal cord (also called the central nervous system or CNS). The result may be headaches, vomiting, confusion, loss of muscle control, and seizures . Leukemia cells also can collect in the testicles and cause swelling. Also, some patients develop sores in the eyes or on the skin. Leukemia also can affect the digestive tract , kidneys , lungs, or other parts of the body.

In chronic leukemia, the abnormal blood cells may gradually collect in various parts of the body. Chronic leukemia may affect the skin, central nervous system, digestive tract, kidneys, and testicles. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Leukemia: NCI)

Leukemia as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Leukemia, it is also important to consider Leukemia as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Leukemia may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Leukemia:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Leukemia. This signs and symptoms information for Leukemia has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Leukemia signs or Leukemia symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Leukemia may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Leukemia symptoms.


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