According to Harvard Health Publishing, leukemia is a form of cancer that prohibits the body’s ability to produce healthy white blood cells. Leukemia has two forms; it is either classified as “acute,” which suddenly emerges in children and adults, or “chronic,” which lasts for a prolonged period of time.
Although there are two forms, research from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center states that there are four types of leukemia that exist; acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Acute leukemia spreads very quickly, where cancerous cells halt the production of red/white blood cells and platelets. This results in an anemic patient who suffers from consistent infections.
Chronic leukemia slowly emerges with a majority of mature cancer cells. If diagnosed with chronic leukemia, that individual will experience different symptoms than the individual diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Leukemia can develop due to genetic abnormalities or exposure to radiation and hydrocarbons. Diagnosis of leukemia can take a while due to sharing similar symptoms with the flu. The following are examples of the most common symptoms for patients diagnosed with leukemia:
Aching bones or joints
According to a post-graduate medical journal, BMJ, leukemic arthritis includes joint pain and swelling due to bone marrow becoming overcrowded with cancerous cells.
Leukemic cells are responsible for invading crucial organs, such as the liver, stomach, spleen, and lymph nodes. Once these organs begin to work in a fragile state, physical appearances can alter and represent the unhealthy system hidden within the patient.
Frequent bruising, Slow -healing cuts, and nosebleeds
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center explains that the random bruising occurs due to low levels of platelets, which is the component in blood responsible for the clotting and wound healing process. Low platelet levels also contribute to the occurrence of nosebleeds and slow-healing cuts.
Low levels of white blood cells, which fend off diseases, make it more likely for patients to become infected.
If experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is recommended by Harvard Health Publishing to consult with your doctor, who can determine if it is necessary to retrieve blood work, which can aid in the detection of leukemia.