- Although certain symptoms are very specific to the subtype of leukemia, there are several common signs of the disease to be on the lookout for.
- Some symptoms to watch for include fever and chills, swollen lymph nodes, and persistent fatigue.
- Many of the symptoms are common in other unrelated illnesses which is precisely why leukemia is hard to detect.
The Mayo Clinic defines leukemia as “cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues.” The disease most commonly affects white blood cells, which mutate and become cancerous. These cells are primarily produced in the bone marrow, but certain types are also made in the lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus gland.
Each of the seven subtypes of leukemia are classified based on how quickly the disease progresses—suddenly (acute) or slowly (chronic)—as well as which specific cells are affected. Although certain symptoms are very specific to the subtype of leukemia, there are several common signs of the disease. Let’s take a look at the common signs and symptoms of leukemia.
Fever or Chills
As leukemia compromises the body’s blood cells, which are essential to a well-functioning immune system, those affected by the disease may become ill more often.
Symptoms of a cold or flu—such as a fever, chills, or infections—are among the most common indicators a person may be battling leukemia. However, since these symptoms resemble common illnesses, they can be easily overlooked.