Symptoms of Leukemia in children:
Kinds of symptoms in children:
Bruising & bleeding are found in children with leukemia. The child bleeds longer than usual for minor injury & nosebleeds. They also have small red spots on skin or petechiae which occur due to tiny blood vessel bleeding.
Stomachache & poor appetite are also common. It’s because cancerous cells accumulate in liver, spleen, kidneys making them enlarge. And the child cannot eat sufficient food.
Children will have trouble breathing, as cancerous cells might clump around thymus. A painful breathing is a medical emergency.
Frequent infections are common as WBC’s are immature, so they can’t perform properly. The symptoms such as coughing, fever, running nose show no improvement even with antibiotics.
Lymph nodes filter the blood. But leukemia cells might settle down in lymph nodes. This causes swelling in under your child’s arms, in the groin, in the neck & also above collarbone.
Bone & joint pain are common as leukemia causes blood cells to reproduce at faster rate leading to overcrowding of cells. The pain is common in lower back pain & pain in legs.
The children are anemic as red blood cells help to distribute oxygen throughout the body. Since they are less it leads to fatigue, rapid breathing, pale skin, feeling weak, etc.
Other reasons for same symptoms:
Von Willebrand’s disease is bleeding disorder in women which is can be wrongly taken as a symptom of leukemia.
Sinusitis, whooping cough can be also diagnosed as a mistake. Other misdiagnosis of leukemia include mesenteric adenitis as appendicitis in children, migraine, etc
Blood test help to identify it, as children with leukemia will have a lot of white blood cells & insufficient red blood cells or platelets. But this test is not enough for identifying it completely.
Bone marrow and biopsy are two tests that are done which could identify leukemia for sure.
How common is it?
Leukemia is of four kinds.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia(ALL) is found in ages between 2 & 4 years of age. Also ALL is common in Hispanic & white kids. It’s more common in boys.
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia(AML) is bit more common in first two years & teenage.
Chronic leukemia are rare in kids, happens mostly in teens. Juvenile Myelomonocytic leukemia(JMML) occurs in young children with average of age of 2 years.