Acute leukaemia

Noticing symptoms

Acute leukaemia

Noticing symptoms star_border Save this page

Cancers and other diseases can cause symptoms. These are changes in your body that you notice. Examples of symptoms are having a cough, a pain or a lump.  

Symptoms can be caused by many illnesses, not just cancer, but it is always best to have them checked out by a GP. 

What you need to know

Symptoms of acute leukaemia

Symptoms of acute leukaemia develop quickly over a few weeks.

They are often vague and can include:

  • tiredness and weakness
  • looking pale
  • breathlessness
  • bruising and bleeding easily, e.g., nose and gum bleeds
  • infections that don’t get better
  • discomfort or pain in the abdomen or back.
  • bone and joint pain
  • enlarged lymph nodes or lumps
  • unexplained weight loss
  • headaches
  • dizziness or feeling light headed
  • swollen gums
  • slow healing
  • feeling full or swollen tummy (from enlarged liver or spleen).
These symptoms can be caused by other illnesses. However, it is always best to let your doctor know about any symptoms you have. 
Cancers that are diagnosed early can be easier to treat.

Next steps

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms that you are worried about, even if they seem minor, you should go to see a GP. Don't be embarrassed to bring up your concerns. 

Remember, cancers that are found earlier can be easier to treat.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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