Symptoms and Signs of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; also called acute lymphocytic leukemia) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Leukemia cells are not able to fight infection very well, and as the number of leukemia cells increases in the blood and bone marrow, there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Acute forms of cancer usually worsen quickly if not treated.

Symptoms of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia may resemble the flu and include weakness, tiredness, fever, night sweats, easy bruising or bleeding, petechiae (flat, pinpoint spots under the skin, caused by bleeding), shortness of breath, weight loss, loss of appetite, pain in the bones or stomach, pain or feeling of fullness below the ribs, having many infections, and painless lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.