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What are the primary leukemia symptoms in adults?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of leukemia in adults include persistent fatigue, loss of weight, recurring nosebleeds, bone pain and excessive sweating. Specific symptoms depend on the type of leukemia, according to Mayo Clinic. Leukemia also causes symptoms in organs that have been affected by the cancer cells. In an affected central nervous system, symptoms include vomiting, confusion, seizure and loss of muscle control, says Healthline.

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Full Answer

Leukemia is cancer of the blood, including the lymphatic system and bone marrow. The condition mainly involves leukocytes, which are blood cells that act as infection fighters. Symptoms are not specific, and may resemble symptoms of flu. Patients with persistent signs of this condition should seek medical attention, notes Mayo Clinic.

Leukemia occurs from mutations of DNA in blood cells. This condition causes cells to divide and grow abnormally. The result is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells, causing leukemia symptoms, explains Mayo Clinic.

Risk factors include previous cancer treatment, a family history of leukemia, exposure to chemicals such as benzene, and genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, claims Mayo Clinic. Doctors begin the diagnosis by studying the patient’s medical history and performing a physical examination to check for tender bones, pale skin and enlarged lymph nodes, according to Healthline.

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