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How to identify the most obvious signs of Leukaemia in children

child with cancer

The majority of the signs of leukaemia in children are caused by the lack of normal blood cells. This is because the cells that are creating blood in the bone marrow are overcrowded by the cancerous cells. The leukaemia cells could spread in other parts of the body as well and they could cause other symptoms. Nonetheless the majority of the symptoms aren’t caused by leukaemia itself.

Tiredness and pale skin
In case of children it may be a sign of leukaemia if they are tired, dizzy, weak or short of breath. In the same time the skin and the gums could be pale. All this is caused by the fact that there are fewer red blood cells than there should be – a condition known as anaemia.

Infections and fever
In case of a child with leukaemia, high fever and infection could appear that doesn’t get better with the help of antibiotics. This happens because there aren’t enough normal white blood cells that would fight off the infection. Although the white blood cell count of the child could be very high, these are not normal cells and so they cannot fight the infection.

Bleeding or bruising
It is one of the signs of leukaemia in children if the child in question bruises easily and if there is heavy bleeding in case of small cuts or wounds. Also it is a sign if there are tiny little red spots on the skin made by bleeding from the little blood vessels. This kind of bleeding is caused by the absence of the blood platelets that would plug the holes in the blood vessels.

Bone pain
This kind of pain could also occur in case of children with this kind of illness, and also some of them could experience pain in the joints. This is caused by the build-up of the leukaemia cells in the joint or near the surface of the bone.

Swelling of the abdomen
Because of the illness the liver or the spleen could get larger than usual and the doctor could observe this kind of swelling.

Loss of appetite and weight loss
In case the liver or the spleen gets too large, it could press against other organs in the abdomen, such as the stomach. This limits the food amount that the child can eat and so there will be appetite loss. On the long run this leads to the child losing significant weight.

Swollen lymph nodes
The illness can spread to the lymph nodes as well and this is why they get swollen. This can be noticed on the sides of the neck, at the underarm, in the groin or right above the collarbone. In case the lymph nodes get swollen in the chest or in the abdomen, this can be seen on the CT or the MRI scans.

Coughing and difficult breathing
This is also one of the signs of leukaemia in children. The T-cell type of the acute lymphocytic leukaemia also affects the thymus gland that can be found near the heart.

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