There is a common misconception among the general public that adult leukemia symptoms are much milder than the symptoms of child leukemia. This is NOT TRUE. Symptoms of adult leukemia are quite painful and serious, although many of them are caused indirectly by the cancer.

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Symptoms of Adult Leukemia

  • Chronic or constant fatigue
  • Abnormal and excessive bleeding
  • Easy bruising
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone or joint pain, similar to arthritis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fungal / opportunistic infections
  • Swollen and enlarged spleen, lymph nodes, and liver

Leukemia damages the bone marrow, decreasing the production of platelets - blood clotting factors that circulate throughout the bloodstream. This effect inhibits the body's ability to heal wounds quickly. Leukemia patients may therefore become bruised easily or develop exessive bleeding. Anemia may also develop, as the amount of nhealthy blood cells in the bloodstream decreases.
The lymphocytes produced during leukemia are cancerous and abnormal, and cannot produce the toxins or antibodies necessary to kill pathogens or infected body cells. As a result, several opportunistic infections may develop in a patient (such as tonsillitis, diarheea, pneumonia, and fungal infections).
As the amount of cancerous cells in the body increases, the amount of normal red blood cells circulating decreases. Thus, oxygen absorption also decreases significantly. This may lead to a host of flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, cough, runny nose, or a sore throat.