Leukemia, or cancer of the blood cells, can cause subtle and surprising symptoms throughout the body. These are some signs you may need to get checked.
What is leukemia?
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, a malignancy that causes an abnormal production of certain blood cells. As the unhealthy blood cells crowd out healthy ones, the blood and immune system function begins to falter and you may notice physical symptoms. In 2019, doctors will diagnose an estimated 61,780 people with leukemia and about 22,840 people will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. The disease can get worse quickly if you have a type known as acute leukemia, or progress more slowly and get worse over time if you have a type known as chronic leukemia. While the following symptoms can be subtle signs of leukemia, the same symptoms can also be caused by many other diseases and conditions—many of them benign. If you’re concerned, see your health care provider for an evaluation.