Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
No one knows the exact causes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and doctors can seldom explain why one person will get ALL and another person will not. However, leukemia research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease.
Adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk factors include:
- Being male
- Being Caucasian
- Being more than 70 years of age
- Past treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Exposure to atomic bomb radiation
- Having a certain genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome.
Symptoms of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, people with adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia may have a number of ALL symptoms.
The early signs of this condition may be similar to the flu or other common diseases. However, a doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
- Weakness or feeling tired
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Petechiae (flat, pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding)
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
- Pain in the bones or stomach
- Pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs
- Painless lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin.
These and other symptoms may be caused by adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia or by other conditions, so certain tests are used to rule out these other conditions.