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).
Learn about leukemia risk factors