Leukemia is a kind of cancer that usually starts in the bone marrow, the place where blood along with different blood cells is produced. In leukemia’s case, however, either the bone marrow produces white blood cells in abnormal pace or the cell responsible for solely producing white blood cells commits the same mistake. Either way, the lymphocytes produced are nonfunctional and eventually overpopulates the entire bone marrow. When this happens, the bone marrow cannot produce other kinds of blood cells that are needed for oxygen transport (red blood cells) and blood clotting (platelets). And if healthy white blood cells are still available inside the body, the cancerous ones attack and make it useless, making the whole body vulnerable to infection.
Leukemia in Adults: Five Warning Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of leukemia and adults are mostly ignored by the patient or misdiagnosed by the doctor. This is due to the fact that such symptoms are somewhat vague and can be found in other diseases as well. Patients suffering from chronic leukemia often find their situation too late to cure while those who are diagnosed with acute leukemia are suffering from rapid cancer cell development.
Listed below are some of the medically-proven warning signs and symptoms experienced by those suffering from leukemia:
- Feelings of over-fatigue or extreme weakness – Those who suffer from leukemia experience over-fatigue even if they didn’t do any kind of work. This is because of the decline of his or her red blood cell count, the ones responsible for transporting oxygen and other essential nutrients in the body. At first, others relate it either on bad case of sloth or lack of food and sleep.
- Extreme vulnerability to Infection – Since the cancerous white blood cells attack and overpower the normal ones, this renders the patient vulnerable to infection and diseases usually affecting areas such as the lungs, nose, throat, urinary tract and anus.
- Excessive bleeding and unexplained bruises – The cancerous white blood cells also affect platelets, the cells responsible for blood clotting. This is the main reason why patients do have unexplained bruises (hematoma) or experience excessive bleeding whenever they accidentally wound themselves.
- Bone and Joint Pains – Since leukemia primarily affects the bone marrow, intense pain can be felt in body areas where large amounts of marrow are present. In other words, patients experience pain in the sternum or the pelvis.
- Unexplained Fevers, Headaches and other neurological issues – Leukemia cells invading the fluid inside your brain and spinal cord causes overall hormone imbalance, visual changes, seizures, dizziness and vomiting.