Symptoms of Acute Leukaemia in Children

Updated at: Oct 11, 2012
Symptoms of Acute Leukaemia in Children

Symptoms of acute leukaemia in children are visible only when the leukaemia cells have outgrowed the bone marrow. Learn some of the signs and symtoms of acute leukaemia, here.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
CancerWritten by: Bhadra KamalasananPublished at: Apr 12, 2012

Symptoms of Acute Leukaemia in Children

The symptoms of acute leukaemia in children depend on the extent to which the child’s healthy cells of the bone marrow have been taken over by the leukaemia cells and whether the leukaemia cells have gathered in the organs or not.  


Read: Is Bone Marrow Cancer Curable


Usually, acute leukaemia in children gets discovered on a routine blood test. Here are some of the symptoms that are perceivable when the leukaemia cells interfere with the platelets and white blood cells in children.



Anaemia or low red blood cells in the child’s marrow is seen when the leukaemia cells outgrow the red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the tissues in the body. To know if your child is anaemic, look out for signs of weakness, pale skin, breathlessness etc.



Thrombocytopenia is a medical condition by way of which the bone marrow does produce the normal number of platelets. There is a lack of production of platelets when the leukaemia cells overcrowd the bone marrow. To see if your child has thrombocytopenia, watch out for signs of easy bruising or bleeding. [Read: What is Thrombocytopenia?]


Regular Infections

The white blood cells that leukaemia produces are abnormal and too young to fight infection. You will notice your child experience frequent infection, fever etc that don’t seem to stop relapsing despite medication.


Pain in the Bone or Joint

The overgrowth of white blood cells in the centre of a child’s bone marrow will make him/her undergo pain. A sign of pain in the bone or joint is the child limping while walking or complaining of unreasonable pain in the joints or bone.


Swollen Lymph Nodes

The most obvious places where one can detect the swollen lymph nodes include the child’s groin, neck, chest and armpits. If the child’s chest nodes are affected, he/she may find difficulty in breathing and may complain of pain and experience wheezing or coughing.


Read: Home Remedies for Cold and Cough


Abdominal Pain or Swelling

A child with leukaemia may experience abdominal pain or swelling because of the clustering of leukaemia cells in the liver, spleen or kidneys. The child may have a poor appetite and therefore, lose weight.



Headache in your child with leukaemia may be because of the invasion of leukaemia cells into his/her brain tissue. At such a juncture, the child may experience vision problems.

Although, it is terrifying to hear a child have signs of leukaemia for his/her parents, it is important to understand that these aforementioned symptoms may not necessarily be associated with leukaemia. Always consult a doctor before arriving at conclusions.


Read more articles on Leukaemia Signs and Symptoms.




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