Many times, leukemia does not have symptoms in the early stages. When it does, they can vary from child to child, depending on the type of leukemia. When symptoms do occur, they’re often caused by too few healthy blood cells and too many diseased cells. Symptoms may include:
- Fever/infection. This occurs because the body doesn’t have enough healthy white blood cells to fight an infection.
- Frequent and serious nose bleeds and bleeding gums. These can happen because the blood doesn’t have enough platelets, which are used in blood clotting.
- Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs. This can be caused by leukemia cells forming a mass in the abdomen.
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Weakness and fatigue
- Headaches, light-headedness, dizziness, or shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Bone or joint pain
- Night sweats
- Petechiae, pinpoint red spots caused by bleeding under the skin
- Lumps under the skin in the groin, underarm or neck. They may be blue or purple, or may not be discolored at all. Painless lumps may also form around the eyes and be blue-green.
Most of the time, these symptoms are not caused by leukemia. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.