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Symptoms of Leukemia Children

Pediatric leukemia or blood cancer in childhood is the most common form of cancer in children below the age of 4 years. It affects approximately 3,500 children in the United States every year. Nearly thirty percent of childhood cancers is attributed to diagnosis of symptoms of leukemia in children. There are several types of this dreadful disease. This article tries to cover the signs of blood cancer types in children.

Symptoms of Leukemia Children: Blood cells are produced in soft and spongy central section of the bone called bone marrow. The white blood cells are a type of blood cells and are part of the immune system providing protection to our body from external invaders and internal threats. In children suffering from pediatric leukemia, the bone marrow starts abnormal production of immature white blood cells for unknown reasons.

The symptoms of this disease are based on whether the cancer is acute, chronic or neither of them. The cancer is acute when the signs appear quickly and the severity of the disease rises in a short span of time. There are three types of acute blood cancer in children. They are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and hybrid or mixed lineage leukemias.

Symptoms of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL): 60 percent of children suffering from leukemia have this form of cancer. Some of the signs of this ailment are:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding leading to a condition called thrombocytopenia
  • Petechiae or small red spots on the skin
  • Swelling of abdomen
  • Changes in vision
  • Bruising
  • Frequent infections and poor healing of even small cuts
  • Paleness
  • Recurrent fever for unknown reasons

Symptoms of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML): 38 percent of children suffer from this blood cancer type. Its signs are:

  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Easy bruising
  • Pallor
  • Chest pain
  • Joint pain
  • Bone pain
  • Petechiae
  • Anemia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent infections
  • Abnormal vision
  • Enlarged spleen

When a child suffers from symptoms of both the above mentioned types of acute cancer, the disease is called hybrid or mixed lineage leukemias.

The blood cancer is chronic if it exists for a longer period of time and appears frequently. There are two types of this pediatric leukemia. They are chronic myeloid and chronic lymphocytic.

Symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Cancer: It mostly affects the adults and is a rare disease in children. The average age of getting affected is 66 years. The risk of getting this disease is 1 in 625 individuals. The American Cancer Society estimated that there were 5,050 new cases and 470 deaths caused by this cancer in 2009. Some of the signs of this cancer are:

  • Abnormally high white blood cells in blood and bone marrow
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Night sweats
  • Bone pain
  • Easy infection, bruising and bleeding
  • Enlarged spleen

Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic Cancer: Initially there are no symptoms and the signs become apparent in the later stages as the disease gets worse. It is very uncommon form of blood cancer in children, as it mostly affects elder people above the age of 72 years. The risk of getting this disease on average is 1 in 200. According to the American Cancer Society, there were 15,490 new cases and 4,390 deaths caused by this cancer type in 2009. Some of the signs of this ailment to look out for are:

  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating at night
  • Bone pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anaemia
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Infections, bleeding and bruising

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) causes symptoms of leukemia in children which are neither acute nor chronic in nature. Some of these signs are:

  • Small yellow color tumors on the skin
  • Brown skin spots
  • Fatigue
  • Enlarged liver, lymph nodes and spleen
  • Skin rash
  • Failure to thrive
  • Fever
  • Bleeding
  • Easy bruising
  • Persistent infections

1 response to Symptoms of Leukemia Children

  1. kindly direct me where I can buy pegylated L-asparaginas my son is presently admitted at Lagos University teaching Hospital LUTH under a consultant Dr Temiye He is diagonise for Acute leukemia and we are unable to find where to purchase or buy the prescribed drug in nigeria

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