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Cancer

Silent Symptoms of Leukemia that you don’t know

Leukemia is the cancer of blood cells. It shows certain symptoms but most of the times it has silent symptoms. These surprising symptoms of leukemia may be new to you. Read the signs that you may be ignoring for long but before that, here is a basic introduction of leukemia.

What should you know leukemia?

The cancer of blood and bone marrow is called leukemia. It is a condition where the body produces an abnormal amount of certain blood cells. This unhealthy blood takes place of regular healthy blood and the blood functions become faulty.

With time, the person experiences many physical symptoms of the disease. It gets worse if it is not diagnosed on time. If ignored for long, this acute leukemia may progress to chronic leukemia. Irrespective of which stage you are, you must check for the warning signs that your body may be indicating for leukemia.

Silent signs of leukemia

Weakness and fatigue

Fatigue and weakness are the two most common signs of leukemia. The reason why do you experience them is due to deficiency of red blood cells causing anemia. It results in physical exhaustion. At all stages, the person is much likely to feel slight fatigue or extreme weakness. These symptoms get worse with time.

Shortening of breath

This weakness and fatigue also add up to breathing difficulties. As a result, he experiences shortness of breath that sometimes looks like an outcome of anemia. Sometimes the situation becomes so severe that it is hard for a person to walk across the room.

Shortness of breath is not only a symptom of leukemia but also for lung cancer. If you are also experiencing a shortening of breath, look for more symptoms before you go to your doctor.

Unexplained bruising

Bruises without any physical injury are common if the person is developing leukemia. Unusual bruising shows up when there is a low platelet count in the blood or due to blood clotting issues.

Uncommon bleeding

Just like bruising, a person developing leukemia in his body may also suffer from unusual nose bleeding or gum bleed. The bleeding may also show up during a bowel movement. This bleeding shows platelet deficiency and clotting problems, the two most common signs for leukemia.

Petechiae

Petechiae is a condition where small red dots appear on the skin. These spots seem painless and are tiny in size. The most common area of their appearance is lower extremities. Like bleeding and bruising, petechiae also indicate a low platelet count and are one of the silent symptoms of leukemia.

Swollen gums

Although swelling in gums is caused by multiple reasons, an unexplained increase in gum size is called gingival hyperplasia. It is also an underlying sign of developing leukemia. Most doctors advise to check your mouth if you are suspecting leukemia. If your gingiva is bigger causing a strange tightness in the mouth, leukemia may be the reason behind it.

Feeling full all the times

This sign shows up on both acute and chronic levels of leukemia. The reason of feeling full or bloated all the times is that your spleen enlarges in size. It causes an appetite lost and the patient feels fuller despite eating very less.

Discomfort/ pain in the abdomen

Usually, an enlarged spleen also results in abdominal pain or discomfort. It hurts like anything. The pain feels more in the upper left part of the abdomen. That’s the place when your spleen is located, that’s why the discomfort begins here.

Fever and chills

Fever and chills seem a common sign of any random health problem but having them more commonly represent leukemia. Most of the leukemia patients complained having a low-grade fever or chills and a weaker immune system overall.

Night Sweats

Night sweating is not a direct symptom of leukemia. But it is caused by infections that may be relevant to leukemia.

Extreme paleness 

Common signs like headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath show up in almost all leukemia patients. If the patient is looking pale, it means the symptoms are intense. It’s your red blood cells level that makes you look pale. For any change in your skin tone, get your blood test done as soon as possible.

Bones pain

Pain in the bones is a comparatively uncommon but a major sign of leukemia. The leukemia cells are formed inside the bone marrow. That is why an abnormal blood cell production will definitely affect your bones. If you are feeling mild to extreme pain in bones, seek medical assistance immediately.

Swollen lymph nodes

A prominent sign of leukemia is the swollen lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes in your neck, armpit, and groin areas show a painless swelling, pay attention to it. although it is normal for the glands to fluctuate in size during phases of infection, if they are enlarged or growing it may represent leukemia or lymphoma.

Frequent/recurring infections

If small infections take long times for you to go, it may be time to get your complete blood count checked. It is necessary to check the abnormalities in a white blood cell, hemoglobin, and platelet levels. Usually abnormal white blood cell levels cause a weaker immune system that is why the patient never really feels well anytime.

There are no particular symptoms of leukemia that only show up in this condition. These small symptoms represent underlying cancer that requires immediate checkup. Always pay attention to the warning signs that your body tells you and get an appointment as soon as possible.

 

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. She is an author of six research papers and currently working as a research associate in a Research Lab.

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