The symptoms of leukemia vary, depending on the type of leukemia and how quickly it progresses – it can be acute leukemia (fast growing cancer) and chronic leukemia (slow growing cancer).
People with acute leukemia are more likely to experience early symptoms of the disease than those with chronic forms of the cancer. Early symptoms of acute leukemia may include:
- Frequent infections
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Painless lumps in the neck, underarm, or groin
In chronic leukemia, the cancer cells grow slowly. Therefore, people with chronic leukemia may not experience any early symptoms. In most cases, doctors will find chronic leukemia during a routine blood test before the symptoms appear. However when symptoms of chronic leukemia appear, they are generally mild at first and progress gradually. Common symptoms of chronic leukemia include:
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Night sweats
- Unexplained fever
- Pain in the bones or joints
The symptoms of leukemia are often vague and not specific to this disease. An infection or other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should tell the doctor because only a medical professional is able to distinguish leukemia from the other conditions that cause similar symptoms.