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The signs and symptoms of blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma) may be similar to those of other more common and less severe conditions.

If you are concerned because you or a loved one is feeling a loss of well-being or experiencing other troubling symptoms, such as persistent low-grade fever, unexplained weight loss, tiredness or shortness of breath, the best thing to do is see a healthcare provider.

For example, if one or more of your blood cell counts is higher or lower than normal, your physician will try to determine the reason(s). About 5 percent of healthy people will have test results that are outside of the expected range for a given test. Also, several noncancerous conditions may cause blood cell counts to be higher or lower than expected.

(ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ,  (AML) Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Symptoms of ALL and AML are similar to other more common and less severe illnesses. Specific blood tests and bone marrow tests are needed to make a diagnosis. A person with ALL or AML may have:

  • Aches in arms, legs, back
  • Black-and-blue marks for no apparent reason
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever without obvious cause
  • Headaches
  • Pale-looking skin
  • Pinhead-size red spots under the skin
  • Prolonged bleeding from minor cuts
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
People who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may at first have no symptoms at all. Often, patients learn they have CLL after a routine physical exam or a blood test. CLL signs and symptoms tend to develop gradually. Early in the course of the disease, CLL often has little effect on a person’s well-being.

When CLL symptoms do appear, they’re common to other, less serious illnesses. However, if you’re troubled by any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:

  • See symptoms of AML or ALL
Hodgkin’s lymphoma- The most common sign of Hodgkin lymphoma is one or more enlarged lymph nodes. The enlarged lymph node is painless and may be in the neck, upper chest, armpit, abdomen or groin.  Other signs of Hodgkin lymphoma may also include:
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin.

Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma – The most common sign of NHL is one or more enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. Enlarged lymph nodes also can be near the ears or elbow. Other signs may include.

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Feeling tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Rash

Myeloma- in the early stage of myeloma some patients have no signs or symptoms.  Often the first symptom of myeloma is bone pain caused by the effects of myeloma cells in the marrow. Patients may have  anemia, tire more easily and feel weak. Fractures may occur as a result of the weakened bones. Recurrent infections may be an early sign of the disease

*The best advice for any person troubled by symptoms such as a lasting, low-grade fever, unexplained weight loss, tiredness or shortness of breath is to see a healthcare provider.


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