Experts predict that 62,130 people in the United States will be diagnosed with leukemia this year. Leukemia is a form of cancer that affects the body’s system for producing blood, including the lymphatic system and bone marrow. Leukemia generally causes the bone marrow to create abnormal white blood cells that do not work the way they should. If there is a history of leukemia in your parent’s family, knowing the symptoms of the disease could help you to get your parent the treatment they need sooner. The symptoms of leukemia vary according to the type of leukemia, but there are some symptoms that are common to many kinds of leukemia. Below are signs of leukemia that you should be aware of.
Although fatigue can be a symptom of many other conditions, including anemia, it may also be a sign of leukemia. If your parent feels tired all the time and lacks energy, especially in comparison to how they used to be, it’s a good idea to inform their doctor.
Bruising Easily or Being Slow to Heal
If your parent seems to bruise too easily or if cuts take a long time to heal, it could be an indication of a change in blood cells. Also, watch for clusters of small red dots on the skin. These are called petechiae and are a symptom of leukemia.
People with leukemia may become short of breath easily, especially during activity. If your parent seems out of breath more often than they once were, talk to their doctor.
Does your parent appear more pale than usual? The abnormal blood cells formed during leukemia make it harder for normal cells to grow, which may cause anemia. The anemia, in turn, causes pale skin.
If your parent becomes ill, especially with a fever or infection, more often than usual, this could be a sign of leukemia. Because leukemia affects the white blood cells that normally fight off illness, the immune system is compromised and unable to work as effectively as it should.
In addition to the above symptoms, a person with leukemia may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Frequent nosebleeds.
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Bleeding easily.
- Sweating, most notably at night.Pain or tenderness in the bones.
If your parent is diagnosed with leukemia, it may be helpful to hire an elderly care provider to assist with in-home care during their treatment and recovery. Elderly care providers can help by driving your
parent to treatment and follow-up appointments. They can remind your parent to take medications and provide comfort care. An elderly care provider can also handle many of the daily tasks that your parent will be unable to do while they are ill, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Lansing, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.