Leukemia is blood-based cancer, more particularly of White Blood Cells (WBCs) in our body
The WBCs engulf and digest the foreign particles, they help in preventing intravascular blood clotting, and also in growth and repair of tissues.
WBCs have a significant role in the defence mechanism of our body by producing antibodies against antigens (foreign substances) and provide immunity to the body. Leukemia occurs when the WBCs behave abnormally and divide very rapidly crowding out other healthy cells (Normal WBC count in an adult human is 6000-8000 per cu. mm of blood). There are mainly two types of leukemia- acute and chronic.
If not diagnosed and treated at the right time, it may be fatal. So if you are having any of these following symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
The main reason behind this symptom is not entirely understood, but it may be due to cancer-related anemia or maybe the alterations of hormones playing with the energy levels of the body. While fatigue and exhaustion is taken normally, but there might be something serious behind it if the chores that you were once able to do with ease suddenly becomes tiring and sometimes intolerable. Usually occurs in acute leukemia.
- EXCESSIVE SWEATING
Excessive sweating, especially during nights (called ‘night sweat’), is a symptom of acute leukemia. If you are a sweaty person, there is nothing to worry, but if you start sweating excessively suddenly, then it might be a reason for blood cancer. The reason behind this is not properly known but is attributed to the hormonal changes in our body due to leukemia.
- SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES
Lymph nodes store WBCs that fight against invading organisms. The cancer of these cells may cause the lymph nodes to swell up (usually in neck and armpits). It might be because of something else. Thus it’s better to discuss with your doctor without any delay.
The overgrowth of leukocytes (WBCs) crowds out the healthy growth of other cells like RBCs. Due to the decrease in the number of RBCs, the skin may lose the usual rosy color and become pale colored.
- BLEEDING/BRUISING EASILY
The rapid division of White blood cells causes the vessels to rupture and pushes out the platelets which are necessary for the clotting of blood. This causes internal bleeding and may lead to sudden bruises out of nowhere (usually appears in the back). This symptom warns you, and you need to call your doctor instantly to get adequately diagnosed before it turns fatal.
- PERSISTING FEVER
If you get fever persisting for more than 4-5 days, you need urgent medical attention since it can be the cause of anything. Especially during leukemia, the WBCs that fight against antigens and provide immunity to our body doesn’t behave normally and are not able to compete for our body. This leads to fever and chills persisting for long days.
- BONE PAIN
Due to the rapid division of leucocytes, there is an accumulation of WBCs in the bone marrow manifesting a sharp and persisting pain in the bones, especially of the ribs and spine. If you have pain in spine, ribs or bone of any part, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- EXCESSIVE BLEEDING AND SLOW HEALING
Since the number of leucocytes increases rapidly during leukemia, the number of platelets are also affected leading to slow clotting of blood and excessive bleeding. Also, the growth and repair of tissues are affected by leukemia which lowers the healing capacity of any wound in the body. Consult a doctor before it becomes fatal.
Leukemia is a severe blood cancer which has taken many lives. A right lifestyle and proper diagnosis with proper treatment are vital. Utmost care should be given to the patient without any negligence of hygiene and diet.