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)
• Shortness of breath
• Frequent infections
• 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
Lymphoblastic lymphoma is similar to ALL. The
key way it differs is that it starts in lymphoblasts
within the lymphatic system.