Leukemia

leukemiaLeukemia is a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue. When a normal blood cell becomes damaged it dies, and the body replaces it with a healthy blood cell. Unlike normal blood cells, the leukemia cells don’t die off when they become old or damaged. This causes them to crowd out normal healthy cells which provide oxygen, control bleeding, and fight infections. All blood cells come from stem cells. There are three types of blood cells; red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Leukemia can be classified as either acute, which is fast growing, or chronic, which grows at a slower rate.

Symptoms of Leukemia

Leukemia can be categorized into acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), or chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Symptoms of leukemia can vary depending on the type, but some of the more common symptoms associated with leukemia are below. These symptoms might not be caused by leukemia, but could be caused by another underlying health condition. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizzy or lightheaded
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Infections that keep coming back
  • Bruises easily
  • Frequent nosebleeds or bleeding in the gums
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Pain or abdominal feeling of fullness
  • Unexplained rash

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