While there are many different types of leukemia, the symptoms among these types can be similar.
Because chronic leukemia develops slowly, these patients may go years without developing symptoms. In these cases, the disease is often found through a routine blood test ordered during a physical or for some other reason.
Acute leukemia progresses quickly, so patients almost always develop symptoms.
Common leukemia symptoms include:
- Weakness, tiredness and fatigue
- Fever and frequent infections
- Night sweats
- Easy bleeding and bruising, including bleeding of the gums
- Petechiae, a rash-like collection of pinpoint spots on the skin caused by bleeding into the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, stomach or groin
- Loss of appetite or a full feeling after eating very little food due to enlargement of the spleen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bone and joint pain
- For female patients, longer than normal or heavier than normal menstruation
Some cases of leukemia can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Learn more about the risk to you and your family on our genetic testing page.