Leukemia is a cancer of white blood cells called leukocytes. This is a fighter against infections that enter the body. Blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, and in leukemia, it produces leukocytes with abnormalities, which leads to the development of the disease. Consider the symptoms of leukemia in adults and its types.
Blood leukemia: symptoms in adults of a primary nature
The exact causes of leukemia remain unexplained, but the risk factors include radiation exposure and the ingress of benzene in the body. Leukemia is classified according to the rate of development:
The main types of leukemia:
- acute lymphoblastic leukemia;
- acute myeloid leukemia;
- chronic lymphocytic leukemia;
- chronic myeloid leukemia.
The combined symptoms are:
- sore bones and joints;
- swollen lymph nodes, not accompanied by soreness;
- fever or night sweats;
- weakness or tiredness;
- frequent infections;
- discomfort or swelling in the abdominal cavity;
- weight loss, reluctance to eat.
How to recognize acute leukemia?
Leukemia in the acute course is characterized by the formation of abnormalities in the stem cells of the bone marrow and in the immature and already matured blood cells. They are not able to perform their usual functions and quickly multiply by division, so the disease is rapidly developing.
Leukemia is characterized by many symptoms, and some of them are non-specific. These may be characteristic common symptoms. Most of the signs are due to bone marrow replacement with leukemic cells and a disruption of the hematopoietic system. The result is a reduction in the number of normal blood cells - red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets.
Symptoms in adults with acute leukemia depend on the effects caused by them and associated diseases. Among them occupy a special place:
- anemia - shortness of breath, pallor of the skin, increased fatigue;
- weak protection against infections - leukocyte abnormality, their inability to perform a protective function;
- platelet insufficiency - bruising, bleeding;
- lesion of leukemic cells of organs, central nervous system, joints, bones - weakness, soreness, vomiting, blurred vision;
- an increase in the size of the liver and spleen, lymph nodes with the defeat;
- bleeding gums and a scattering of small specks of different colors - the nature of acute myeloid leukemia;
- an increase in the thymus gland, characteristic of acute lymphoblastic leukemia - shortness of breath, cough (squeezing of the trachea), swelling of the face and hands (squeezing the superior vena cava).
What are the symptoms of the chronic stage of the disease?
Many people with chronic leukemia do not observe any symptomatic manifestations at the time of diagnosis. Often, laboratory testing of blood taken for analysis in the treatment of any other disease contributes to determining the presence of the disease.
The overall symptoms of chronic leukemia in adults include:
- feeling weak;
- excessive fatigue;
- weight reduction;
- bone pains.
The disease is characterized by a moderate increase in leukocytes in the blood, and upon the onset of a pronounced period, the following symptoms appear:-
- temperature rise to 37.5 °;
- sweating, weakness;
- bone pain;
- feeling of heaviness in the stomach;
- pain in the spleen;
- a sharp increase in the liver and spleen.
With the further development of the disease appear wax pallor of the skin, hemorrhage, fever with profuse sweating. Impairments in the cardiovascular system are manifested in the form of heart palpitations, hypotension, shortness of breath. Anemia develops.
For chronic lymphocytic leukemia, along with common signs, an increase in lymph nodes is characteristic: moderate at the onset of the disease and significant with further development. The proliferation of lymph nodes in the chest cavity causes difficulty breathing, a strong cough, blue face, hands, neck. And in the abdominal cavity enlarged lymph nodes can lead to obstruction. Anemia develops. The liver and spleen are also enlarged.
The final stage of the disease is characterized by such symptoms:
- depletion of the body;
- damage to the skin and mucous membranes;
- recurring pneumonia.
How is a disease diagnosed by a blood test?
A blood test in the diagnosis of leukemia in adults when the first symptoms appear is of overwhelming importance. Pathologically changed leukocytes differ in structure, which makes it possible to identify them as malignant.
So, in acute myeloid leukemia there will be the following indicators:
- the presence in the blood of myeloblasts of various sizes;
- the disappearance of intermediate cells - leukemic failure;
- decrease in hemoglobin concentration in the blood - anemia;
- platelet count below 150x109/ L - thrombocytopenia.
In acute lymphoblastic leukemia are observed:
- increased lymphocyte count, high content of lymphoblasts;
- low platelet count;
- low hemoglobin.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is characterized by:
- extremely high white blood cell count;
- the presence of all forms of blood for granular leukocytes - granulocytes;
- increase in eosinophils and basophils;
With chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the blood there are such changes:
- an increased number of lymphocytes, the content of all forms of lymphocytogenesis;
- the presence of lymphocytes with half-destroyed nuclei;
Summing up, let's say that the symptoms of leukemia are often similar to influenza virus infection. But if there is no relief in the process of therapy, it is necessary to consult a doctor, since the timely detection of the disease increases the positive prognosis of treatment. Health to you!