Know about the common symptoms of leukemia
Leukemia refers to cancer of the blood-forming tissues in the body. These tissues include the lymphatic system and the bone marrow. This disease affects the functioning of white blood cells, which are the key to fighting infections. In a healthy body, these cells divide and multiply in the most natural manner as required by the body. However, in leukemia, the bone marrow creates abnormal versions of these cells, which fail to function as they are meant to.
How common is the disease?
Leukemia is more common in men than in women. Approximately 30,000 leukemia cases are diagnosed in the country each year.
Common symptoms of leukemia
In most of the cases, patients who are in the early stages of the disease do not present any apparent signs of the disease. When symptoms of leukemia do present themselves, they may be the following:
- Easy bleeding or bruising
People suffering from this disease may experience bleeding from their nose or gums. They may also see blood in their urine or stool. Additionally, they may develop big bruises even from very insignificant bumps. Moreover, small discolored spots—known as petechiae—can start to form below the skin.
Anemia is the result of having a lower red blood cell count than normal. This slows down the delivery of oxygen to muscles and organs. If you have anemia, you may suffer from a pale complexion. Additionally, you may get tired easily and lack energy.
- Swollen lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are tiny structures shaped like beans that house groups of lymphocytes. A patient who suffers from leukemia may suffer from abnormal lymphocytes gathering in lymph nodes in the armpits, throat, or groin. This, in turn, results in the enlargement of the lymph nodes.
- Susceptibility to infections
Since this disease affects the body’s ability to fight infections, you may be more susceptible to contracting infections. These include a sore throat or bronchial pneumonia. Along with the infection, you may also suffer from a skin rash, a headache, mouth sores, or a low-grade fever.
- General loss of well-being
Other symptoms of leukemia are a loss of weight and appetite, a feeling of fatigue or weakness all the time, and discomfort under the left lower ribs. In some cases, you may get a fever that persists for more than two weeks and you will suffer from night sweats.