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Certain signs and symptoms could suggest that a person might have acute lymphocytic leukemia. But tests always are needed to confirm this. And keep in mind that these symptoms are most often caused by something other than cancer.

The most common symptoms of acute lymphocytic leukemia are caused by low blood cell counts. These include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Infections that don’t get better or keep coming back
  • Bruising easily
  • Bleeding, such as frequent or severe nosebleeds and bleeding gums

Other symptoms can include:

  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Severe night sweats (that drench the sheets)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fullness or swelling of the belly
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches, weakness, seizures, vomiting, trouble with balance, and/or blurred vision (if leukemia cells are in the area around the brain and spinal cord)
  • Trouble breathing, chest pain, and/or cough (if the leukemia is in the chest)
  • Bone or joint pain

Last Medical Review: 12/08/2014
Last Revised: 02/22/2016