Childhood Leukemia Symptoms

Fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, and frequent infections are some common childhood leukemia symptoms. When acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) develops in childhood, symptoms often include those seen with anemia (such as looking pale, feeling weak, and bleeding easily). In cases of acute myelogenous leukemia, a child's symptoms may include joint pain, bone pain, or blue-green lumps around the eyes.

Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Leukemia: An Introduction

The most common types of leukemia that are found in children are acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Although these types of leukemia share common symptoms, they also have slightly different symptoms.
 

Common Symptoms

In general, common symptoms of childhood leukemia 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 lumps that are sometimes around the eyes.
 

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) 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 with anemia may:
 
  • Look pale
  • Feel weak and tired
  • Bleed and bruise easily.
 
Other common symptoms of ALL include:
 
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Painless lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin
  • Pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs
  • Paleness or pallor
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiny red spots (called petechiae) under the skin
  • Bone or joint pain.
 
In childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the abnormal cells may collect in the brain or spinal cord, also called the central nervous system (CNS). This may result in headaches with or without vomiting. Leukemia cells also can collect in the testicles and cause swelling. However, most children with leukemia do not have these symptoms.
 
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Child Leukemia

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