Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

What are the symptoms of leukemia?

The following are the most common symptoms of leukemia; however, each individual may experience symptoms differently:

  • Increased susceptibility to infections and fevers.
  • Anemia.
  • Bleeding.
  • Bruising.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes, liver or spleen.
  • Petechiae – tiny red dots under the skin that are the result of very small bleeds.
  • Swollen or bleeding gums.
  • Sweating.
  • Bone or joint pain.

In addition, acute leukemia may cause the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Seizures
  • Swollen testicles
  • Sores in the eyes or on the skin

Chronic leukemia may affect the skin, central nervous system, digestive tract, kidneys and testicles.

The symptoms of acute and chronic leukemias may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.