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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 1.2017


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Symptoms of ALL | Review

Symptoms of ALL

A symptom is a health problem a person experiences

that may indicate a disease. ALL can cause a

number of different symptoms. But, some people with

ALL may have few or no symptoms. Symptoms may

result from a shortage of healthy blood cells or from

leukemia cells collecting in certain parts of the body.

See Guide 1

for a list of common symptoms that

may be caused by ALL.

However, these symptoms may be caused by other

health conditions. It is helpful to tell your doctor about

symptoms and let him or her know how you are

feeling each step of the way.

Guide 1. Common symptoms of ALL

Symptoms may include:

• Severe tiredness (fatigue)

• Weakness

• Dizziness

• Shortness of breath

• Frequent infections

• Fever

• Bruising or bleeding easily

• Pain in arms, legs, or joints

• Unusual sweating at night

• Unexplained weight loss

• Feeling of fullness in the belly area beneath the ribs




White blood cells are part of your body’s

disease-fighting system called the immune




Most blood cells are made in the bone

marrow—the soft tissue in the center of most




All types of blood cells are made from special

blood-forming cells called blood stem cells.



Blast cells are very young (immature) cells that

become mature blood cells over time.



Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-

forming cells in the bone marrow.



ALL is a fast-growing type of leukemia in

which too many young white blood cells called

lymphoblasts are made. The lymphoblasts build

up in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy

blood cells.



Lymphoblastic lymphoma is similar to ALL. The

key way it differs is that it starts in lymphoblasts

within the lymphatic system.