Warning Signs of Leukemia

Bleeding gums and persistent headaches are both warning signs of leukemia. Awareness of the early symptoms is extremely important especially in children because there are leukemia types that grow rapidly and are fatal.

In this cancer, many of your white blood cells (which are supposed to be your body's defenders from viruses and bacteria) in your bone marrow have turned rebellious and are poised to conquer your healthy WBCs.

What are the signs you ought to know?

1. Swollen lymph nodes

Swollen lymph nodes that are located in the neck and the armpits can be felt don't usually cause pain. But just because you don't feel any pain doesn't mean everything's fine.

Have yourself checked. Lymph nodes swell because leukemic cells can build up in the lymph nodes.

2. Swollen abdomen

Abdominal swelling is a warning sign of leukemic cells that have invaded either your spleen or your liver. A swollen abdomen is a sign that the cancer has metastasized.

3. Persistent fever, chills or night sweats

Having flu-like symptoms such as frequent fever or sweating during nighttime are early warning signs of leukemia. Fever and sweating often accompany infection.

4. Excessive and oversensitivity to bruising

Every now and then, you may get bruises. They commonly happen as warning signs before your menstrual period. Bruises may appear as small red or purple dots or patches on or under the skin. But if you notice them appearing frequently and excessively, see your doctor just to be sure. Bruises that occur in children should be taken seriously because they can indicate childhood acute lymphocytic or ALL leukemia.

5. Poor appetite

Losing your appetite after ruling out other medical conditions is also one of the signs of leukemic cells. Another sign such as being very weak aggravates this particular symptom. When you feel tired most of the time, you won't feel like eating.

6. Abnormal bleeding

It is not normal if you bleed easily or excessively. It is a warning sign of a shortage of healthy platelets in the blood.

Abnormal bleeding can occur as:

  • frequent nosebleeds,
  • minor cuts that don't stop bleeding immediately, and
  • bleeding or swollen gums.

It is also one of the warning symptoms of childhood leukemic disease.

7. Frequent infections

Recurring infection is a warning sign that commonly occurs in leukemic patients. You become prone to infections because your white blood cells that fight viruses and bacteria are damaged. When new white blood cells are produced by the bone marrow, they are also unhealthy and unable to fight off viruses and bacteria.

8. Severe weight loss

Losing a lot of weight that you can't explain is one of the early leukemia symptoms. It is definitely one of the warning signs that you and other people around you can notice.

Unintentional weight loss of more than 10 pounds without any other reason definitely indicates cancer.

9. Anemia

Anemia is characterized by the different signs such as paleness, extreme weakness or tiredness and breathing problems.

Bear in mind that having one or two of these warning signs doesn’t always mean leukemia symptoms. Having any of them may indicate other medical conditions.

However, you must also consider that the signs you are noticing can mean leukemia. After all, it is your health we are talking about here. It's best that you see a doctor and talk to him if you are experiencing any of these warning signs of leukemia. It always pays to be cautious.

Related Pages You Might Like:

Types of Leukemia | What Causes Leukemia | Acute and Chronic Leukemia Symptoms | Understanding CLL Leukemia | Causes of Chronic Lymphatic Lekemia

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