According to a sobering report from the World Health Organization,
Different from many other types of cancer, leukemia is not located in a single organ. It is cancer in the blood, and the abnormal cells are not limited to a single tissue. They circulate throughout the body and make the blood thicker, creating a series of problems in many different organs at the same time. Leukemia features an uncontrolled division of stem cells, giving rise to red blood cells, lymphocytes and other types of white blood cells. However, there is excess replication and accelerated circulation of these cells when they are still immature, and they are unable to function correctly.
In leukemia, there are many signs and symptoms and different subtypes of the same disease according to the cell line that is involved in the abnormal replication process. Each one of them has a different course and prognosis, and leukemia can be an acute disease with escalating symptoms that develop in a few days or weeks or chronic, that usually take months or years to develop fully.
The most important signs and symptoms are as follows:
It is the clinical name to the enlargement of the liver. This sign is found in the physical exam or through imaging tests, and it is common in various diseases, not only leukemia. Since leukemia features excess immature blood cells, they enter the liver and invade the tissue, increasing the size of the organ.
The same happens to other tissues, especially the spleen, which becomes exaggeratedly large and may even reach the belly button in severe cases. Similarly, leukemia cells may infiltrate in other tissues, which is especially the case in the skin and gums, which is why these patients often have swollen gums and alterations in the skin.
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