Leukemia symptoms in adults do not differ much from symptoms of the disease in other age groups. This rare form of cancer starts in the marrow when the body starts producing abnormal white blood cells resulting in unchecked growth of these cells which do not perform the same way the normal blood cells do. Treatment often involves replacement of bone marrow to help the body produce healthy cells. Leukemia can strike at any age.
- Increased White Blood Cell Count. In all forms of adult leukemia, the body starts producing abnormal white blood cells with reduced capacity to fight off infection. A doctor may suspect a patient has cancer before conducting blood tests for center antibodies. The abnormal blood cells squeeze out healthy space in a patient's bone marrow.
- Easy Bruising or Bleeding. Leukemia can cause a person to become anemic, making the blood thinner. Thinner blood causes the body to have a harder time forming clots. The skin may break more easily than it might otherwise because of reduced blood pressure.
- Pain. Adult leukemia patients frequently experience mild to severe pain in the chest below the heart, the stomach and the ribs. The pain occurs with other symptoms and a person may see small bumps on the arm. Internal bleeding causes the bumps on the skin
- Lump under the arm and in the chest. Adult leukemia patients and children with this condition may find glands under the arm collect the damage cells and store them for later.
- Low-grade fever and frequent infections. The immune system weakens as the disease progresses, and opportunistic infections may find their way back into the body. This may include diseases a patient has been previously vaccinated against.
White males over 70 have the highest risk of developing adult acute lymphostatic leukemia. Other risk factors include previous chemotherapy and being exposed to atomic radiation. As with many types of cancers, the prognosis is good if the disease is caught early in its progression.