Common leukemia symptoms may include fevers or night sweats, frequent infections, feeling weak or tired, and headaches. Other common signs and symptoms include swelling or discomfort in the abdomen, swollen lymph nodes (especially in the neck or armpit), and bleeding or bruising easily. In acute cases of leukemia, symptoms may also include vomiting, confusion, and seizures.
Like all blood cells, leukemia cells travel through the body. Depending on the number of abnormal cells and where these cells collect, people with leukemia may have a number of different symptoms.
Common symptoms of leukemia may include:
- Fevers or night sweats
- Frequent infections
- Feeling weak or tired
- Pain in the bones or joints
- Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (stomach), resulting from an enlarged spleen
- Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck or armpit
- Weight loss
- Bleeding and bruising easily (e.g., bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin, or tiny red spots under the skin).
These symptoms are not sure signs of leukemia. An infection or another problem could also cause these symptoms. People who have possible leukemia symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible because only a doctor can make a definite diagnosis and treat the problem.
(Click Leukemia Diagnosis for more information.)
In the early stages of chronic leukemia, the leukemia cells function almost normally. Healthcare providers will often find chronic leukemia during a routine checkup before there are any leukemia symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they generally are mild at first and progress gradually.