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Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are common to other, less serious illnesses. However, if you're troubled by any of the following symptoms, see your doctor: 

It is common for people with AML to feel a loss of well-being because of the underproduction of normal bone marrow cells. The person may tire more easily and have shortness of breath during normal physical activities. People with AML may also have

  • A pale complexion from anemia
  • Headaches
  • Signs of bleeding caused by a very low platelet count, including
    • Black-and-blue marks or bruises occurring for no reason or because of a minor injury
    • The appearance of pinhead-sized red spots on the skin, called “petechiae”
    • Prolonged bleeding from minor cuts
  • Mild fever
  • Swollen gums
  • Frequent minor infections
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Discomfort in bones or joints
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Enlarged liver.

In addition to the signs and symptoms above, you may experience these conditions, which can be dangerous without treatment

  • Bleeding in the brain or a lung
  • Infection, especially if your body produces too few white cells known as neutrophils
  • Myeloid sarcoma, when a mass of AML cells can form a tumor elsewhere in the body.

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