Warning Signs Of Leukemia
The Ten Most Common Warning Signs of Leukemia
There are no typical symptoms that one could name, but there are definitely warning signs of Leukemia. A seemingly healthy person can experience certain changes that may seem harmless when they appear individually, but may become more alarming when more and more ‘symptoms’ appear.
Here is a list of the most common warning signs of Leukemia:
1) Unusual paleness of the skin, particularly in the face
2) Regular high temperature or abnormally frequent infections
3) Frequent bleeding, for instance nose bleeds or blood coming from the mouth, as well as unexplainable effusions of blood
4) Wounds that won’t stop bleeding, for example after a dentist visit or an injury
5) Reduction of blood which results in tiredness and difficulties to concentrate
6) Swelling of lymph nodes
7) Enlargement of liver and spleen
8) Loss of appetite and weight loss
9) Abnormal periods of sweat, especially at night
10) Dizziness and breathlessness even without engaging in any physical activity
When some of these warning signs of Leukemia become visible in a person, it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor. Please bear in mind that having one of these symptoms does not necessarily hint towards Leukemia- some people are naturally pale, have a body that tends to sweat a lot or have frequent nose bleeds for other reasons. All symptoms can be result of a different illness that may be far less severe than cancer, and as mentioned previously there are no clear or proven symptoms for Leukemia.
Nevertheless, if cancer runs in the family and some of these symptoms appear, there is no harm in seeing a doctor to make sure everything is alright- the sooner Leukemia is discovered, the higher is the chance of survival.
The disease is often overseen in routine medical examinations because unlike other types of cancer, Leukemia cannot be seen in form a tumour. While knowing and stating the warning signs of Leukemia can aid a quick diagnose, only blood and bone marrow testing can determine whether a patient carries infected cells in their body. The malignant cells continuously spread throughout the patient’s bone marrow and a large part of essential, healthy blood cells die. The disease can also spread to organs, but they continue to function normally and nothing unusual happens to the patient, while lung cancer for instance causes the patient to cough a lot.
Unfortunately, Leukemia is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer there is and once it is diagnosed the patient commences a tough battle. Due to the extreme blood reduction, also called anaemia, the patient is usually weakened and is forced to rest. Along with this weak feeling goes oversensitivity to infections, which means staying away from large crowds and places that could trigger a potential infection of some sort. Any infection can virtually end life at this stage as the immune system is constantly under attack. At the same time, the patient must commence therapy and combat the disease.
The first step in the process of healing is usually the treatment of the symptoms that first hinted towards the illness. Infections and fever have to be fought with antibiotics while a healthy amount of blood is ensured through blood donations.
The actual cancerous disease is treated with a chemotherapy which destroys the infected cells. There are many side effects of this therapy, but it is usually the only way out along with a bone marrow transplant from a healthy donor. If the therapy was successful, the patient is advised to stay rather isolated for a few months as the immune system has to start from scratch and protection against infections cannot be guaranteed in the first year.
Around 80% of Leukemia survivors are healed for the rest of their life after a successful therapy.