Symptoms of leukemia
• Blood clotting is poor – As immature white blood cells crowd out blood platelets, which are crucial for blood clotting, the patient may bruise or bleed easily and heal slowly – he may also develop petechiae (a small red to purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage).
• Affected immune system – The patient’s white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infection, may be suppressed or not working properly. The patient may experience frequent infections, or his immune system may attack other good body cells.
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• Anemia – As the shortage of good red blood cells grows the patient may suffer from anemia – this may lead to difficult or labored respiration (dyspnea) and pallor (skin has a pale color caused by illness).
• Other symptoms – Patients may also experience nausea, fever, chills, night sweats, flu-like symptoms, and tiredness. If the liver or spleen becomes enlarged the patient may feel full and will eat less, resulting in weight loss. Headache is more common among patients whose cancerous cells have invaded the CNS (central nervous system).
• Precaution – As all these symptoms could be due to other illnesses. A diagnosis of leukemia can only be confirmed after medical tests are carried out.
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