Many of the symptoms of Leukemia are very similar to the symptoms of other diseases. Because Leukemia is a cancer of the blood, many parts of the body are affected.
The many symptoms can be remembered with the acronym CHILDCANCER:
C-continued, unexplained weight loss
H-headaches, often with early morning vomiting
I-increased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints, back, or legs
L-lump or mass, especially in the abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or armpits
D-development of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash
C-constant infections
 -a whitish color behind the pupil
N-nausea which persists or vomiting without nausea
C-constant tiredness or noticeable paleness
E-eye or vision changes which occur suddenly and persist
R-recurrent or persistent fevers of unknown origin

Fever And Infection

Children with Leukemia often get fevers and infections. Leukemia targets white blood cells, which are the bodies defense. Even though people with Leukemia have higher white blood cell count, there are fewer normal white blood cells. The lack of normal white blood cells weakens the bodies defenses and makes people with Leukemia more susceptible to infection.


Leukemia cells can spread outside the bone marrow into the central nervous system, causing headaches, trouble concentrating, weakness, seizures, vomiting, problems with balance, and blurred vision.

Bruising Or Bleeding Easily

A child with leukemia may bruise easily or have increased bleeding from small cuts and nosebleeds. There may be small red spots on the skin from bleeding from tiny blood vessels. The bleeding is caused by a lack of blood platelets, which are needed for plugging holes in blood vessels.

Bone Or Joint Pain

Some children will have bone pain, and a smaller number will have joint pain. Leukemia cells can collect underneath the covering of the surface of the bone or inside the joint causing pain.

A Swollen Or Painful Belly

Leukemia can cause the liver or spleen to get larger. The doctor can feel this swelling.

Swollen Lymph Nodes In The Armpit, Neck, Or Groin

Leukemia can spread to lymph nodes causing them to swell. The child, a parent, or a doctor or nurse might notice swollen nodes on the sides of the neck, in the groin, in the underarm area, or above the collarbone. Swelling of the lymph nodes inside the chest or abdomen is usually found by tests such as CT or MRI scans. (An enlarged lymph node in a child is more often a sign of an infection than leukemia, but it should be checked by a doctor and followed closely.)

Feeling Very Tired Or Weak

A child may complain of being very tired or skin may be pale because of a shortage of red blood cells.

Losing Weight And Not Feeling Hungry

If the spleen or the liver become large enough, they may press against other organs like the stomach. This can limit the amount of food that can be eaten, leading to a loss of appetite and weight loss over time.