Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leukemia Symptoms

Leukemia Symptoms
By Jennifer Bailey

Leukemia is one of the most dangerous types of cancer because it affects the blood, which has a number of very important functions such as transporting oxygen to the different organs to the body.

Given this, there has been considerable research on the disease, which includes research in formulating treatments and in the early detection of symptoms.

The current literature on leukemia presents a number of symptoms that can be detected on initial examination and symptoms that can be seen after more thorough tests. Presented below is some of the literature with regard to these symptoms.

Initial signs and symptoms

Medical research has characterized the initial signs and symptoms of leukemia as nonspecific and vague. This is because some symptoms can be found in non-cancer patients as well.

However, researchers have identified some general features among the symptoms of people with leukemia: abnormal bleeding, weight loss, fatigue, malaise (nonspecific feeling of bodily discomfort), excessive bruising (hematoma), weakness, bone or joint pain, abdominal pain, infections and fever, enlarged spleen lymph nodes and liver, and a reduced tolerance for exercise.

However, there are cases wherein people with leukemia exhibit no symptoms or are asymptomatic until the disease becomes chronic.

The other symptoms of leukemia also include the symptoms that different organs may exhibit as a result of the cancer cells being deposited in the organ due to the leukemia.

Further testing

Once leukemia is suspected, physicians often recommend further testing for confirmation purposes. For leukemia, the most common test is a blood test, wherein any abnormalities related to leukemia can be seen.

One of these abnormalities is anemia, which means that the blood has very low levels of erythrocytes or red blood cells; unusual paleness of the patient and a certain level of respiratory difficulty often characterize this condition.

Another abnormality is Leukopenia, which means that the blood has very low levels of leukocytes or white blood cells, which increases the risk of infection in the patient.Other abnormalities include Neutropenia, Thrombocytopenia, and Thrombocytosis.

There has been considerable research on leukemia because it is considered one of the most dangerous forms of cancer.

Given this, a huge body of literature on its treatment and its symptoms has been created. As a result of this, people can now get more information on its symptoms, which can help them detect these symptoms early, which is the key to effectively treating cancers such as leukemia.

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