Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow. This malignancy leads to abnormal production of damaged blood cells. Blood functions start to fade due to overpopulation of unhealthy blood cells than the healthy ones, and you may observe some noticeable physical symptoms when this happens. According to the National Institute of Health, this condition may worsen fast in the case of acute leukemia, while in chronic leukemia, the condition may slowly progress and become worse over time. Irrespective of the type of leukemia, make sure you see your doctor immediately for evaluation if you notice a combination of any of the subtle symptoms of leukemia mentioned in this post. It’s also advisable you learn about other cancer symptoms usually ignored by women.
1- Fatigue and weakness
According to Dr. Mark Levis, who is a director of the leukemia program at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, body weakness and fatigue are the most common symptoms of leukemia. These signs normally arise due to anemia (red blood cell deficiency), which leads to physical exhaustion. You may experience slight body fatigue to extreme body weakness in both acute and chronic types of leukemia, and the symptom tends to get worse over time. According to Dr. Levis, “it creeps up on people; that’s the problem.”
2- Petechiae (small red spots under the skin caused by bleeding)
Petechiae is described as “someone painted little red dots with a pen,” according to Dr. Crilley. The spots, which are difficult to notice because they are painless, and their size and placement in the lower extremities (arms/legs) is a sign of low platelet count and a symptom of leukemia. Petechiae are usually found around the ankles since gravity causes bodily fluids to accumulate in the lower legs all through the day, according to Dr. Levis
3- Swollen lymph nodes
Check areas of your body like armpit, neck, and groin areas for noticeable swellings in your lymph nodes that are painless. An increase or decrease in size during infection is normal, but if they continue to grow or stay enlarged, and Dr. Crilley says this may be a symptom of leukemia.