Some general symptoms of leukemia include:
- Fever, chills
- Fatigue, weakness
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- Night sweats
- Bone/joint pain
- Abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent infections
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Petechiae (small red spots under the skin)
Other potential symptoms of leukemia
Because some conditions coincide with the presence of the disease, the following may be signs of leukemia:
- Anemia: A low red blood cell count. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. This condition may contribute to weakness, fatigue or shortness of breath.
- Leukopenia: A low white blood cell count. A decrease in the production of functional leukocytes (white blood cells) weakens the body's immune defense, which can make you more prone to infections.
- Thrombocytopenia: A low blood platelet count. Platelets are the blood cells responsible for blood clotting. A shortage of bloods platelets may lead to easy bruising or bleeding.
- Swollen lymph nodes: In some cases, the signs of leukemia may include noticeable swelling of the neck, armpit or groin. This occurs when leukemia has spread to the lymph nodes.
- Enlarged liver or spleen: The build-up of abnormal blood cells in the liver or spleen may cause a feeling of fullness (loss of appetite) or swelling in the upper left side of the abdomen.
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and leukemia
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a condition in which the bone marrow does not produce enough normal blood cells for the body. Some cases of MDS may, over time, progress to leukemia (generally AML).