Childhood Leukemia

Symptoms of Childhood Leukemia

Like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, children with leukemia may have a number of symptoms. Children with leukemia frequently have low amounts of healthy red blood cells and platelets. As a result, there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body (anemia). People who have anemia may:
  • Look pale
  • Feel weak and tired
  • Bleed and bruise easily.
Other common symptoms of leukemia in children include:
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Painless blue or purple lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin
  • Pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs
  • Paleness or pallor
  • Headaches
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiny red spots (called petechiae) under the skin
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Painless blue green lumps called chloromas that appear around the eyes.

Screening Tests

There are no screening tests for childhood leukemia. Screening does not appear to be useful for cancers such as leukemia that appear throughout the body during their earliest stages. Instead, children with possible leukemia symptoms should see their physician, who can determine if further testing is needed.
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Child Leukemia

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