Did you know that the production of new blood cells in your body comes from the bone marrow which is a fatty compound found in the round, bulky ends of the bones. People that have leukemia in fact have problems with the mutation of the new blood cells which become cancerous. Once this process begins, they start to clone which leads to disease progress.
Martha Wadleigh, MD, and clinical director at Adult Leukemia Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute state that “For adults, the common age for leukemia onset is anywhere from 50 to 70.” Meredith Barnhart, specialist at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Information Resource Center claims that this disease has many different types depending on the sort of the blood cells which mutate and also when the mutation occurs, whether it is in the early production process of the cell or in later stages.
Barnhart and Wadleigh agree that there are no symptoms which indicate development of leukemia. They also agree that symptoms depend on the subtype, but in fact there are some overlapping symptoms which have tendency to appear among people that have this disease.
These are the common signs that you need to be aware of:
- Pale skin
Barnhart claims: “When leukemia develops, brand-new blood cells that are damaged by cancer can overtake bone marrow, therefore making it difficult for healthy cells to grow, because you have less healthy cells, you may develop anemia, which can lead to pale skin.” Also she claims that anemia could make your hands peel and cold.
Fatigue is one of the common signs of leukemia and if you feel tiredness at all time you should know that you need to visit your physician. Also having anemia might lead to this fatigue.
- Fevers and infections
Blood cells are extremely important for the immune system. In case these blood cells are unhealthy (as the case of leukemia) you will get sick more than usual. Wadleigh claims: “Infections or fevers are one of the most common symptoms we see.”
- Shortness of breath
Once you feel you lack energy, you might also feel shortness of breath. This might occur especially when you do some physical activity, and if you notice such occurrence you should immediately visit your doctor.
- Slow healing
In case you injure yourself and it requires much longer time to heal small cut or scrape you should know it might be a sign which indicates that your blood cells are not responding well, which might be result of development of leukemia. Also if you have small red dots on your skin (petechiae condition) it could be caused by leukemia. These red dots mainly appear on the lower extremities.
Here are some other signs:
A part from these 5 signs mentioned above, if you experience sweating overnight and painful joints you should know it might be a sign of leukemia, according to Barnhart. Also weight loss could be indicator for leukemia, depending on the subtype of it. Another signs is nose bleeds, swollen or enlarged lymph nodes followed by fever or chills.