Leukemia, to put it simply is cancer (malignancy) of the blood cells. However, much like anything that has to do with an illness of the body, it is a lot more complicated than that.
Blood cells are formed in bone marrow, which is the soft tissue inside of the bone. These cells include white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, which are helpful in the clotting of blood. In a normal, healthy body, this is exactly what happens.
When a person has leukemia, however, abnormal blood cells are created in the bone marrow, and as is most common with leukemia, abnormal white blood cells are created (leukemia literally translates to ‘white blood’). White blood cells are the cells that are responsible for fighting infection in the body.
However, the abnormal cells produced in leukemia patients do not function properly or in the same fashion as normal white blood cells.
Instead, they continue to grow and divide, and the result is the eventual over-crowding of the normal blood cells. What that means is it becomes incredibly difficult for the body to control bleeding, fight infection and transport oxygen to all of its various parts.
There are several different types of leukemia, and these are divided according to how quickly the disease develops, and the type of abnormal cells produced. While the diagnosis might differ in regard to the specific type of leukemia a person has, the symptoms and signs of the disease remain fairly constant across the board.
So without further ado, allow us to present to you 10 of the most common signs and symptoms of leukemia.
The symptom of fever and chills is a common one with most infections or diseases of the body. Fever comes on when the body is trying to fight infection, as warm environments tend to be less hospitable for infection to grow. Chills come one as the body's way of trying to stay warm when it is cold, through the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
Knowing that these two symptoms are often associated with other ailments poses problems for many in diagnosing as it often manifests as flu-like symptoms. If these symptoms persist - for a week or two - then it is advisable to make an appointment with your physician.