Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Leukaemia symptoms

Leukaemia symptoms are often mild at first, but slowly worsen over time. Some people with chronic (slow-growing) leukaemia don’t notice any symptoms at all, and only find out they have the disease when they have a routine blood test.

The symptoms of leukaemia depend on how many abnormal white blood cells are in the body, and where they collect.

In cases of acute (fast-growing) leukaemia, abnormal white blood cells multiply rapidly and spill out into the bloodstream, crowding out healthy blood cells, which can no longer do their job properly.

In chronic leukaemia, abnormal white blood cells fail to die, and slowly build up in the bloodstream, bone marrow, and other organs.

Common symptoms of leukaemia

Some of the more common symptoms of leukaemia include:

  • tiredness
  • anaemia (paleness, weakness, breathlessness)
  • repeated infections, for example mouth sores, infected cuts and scratches
  • prone to bruising and bleeding.

Other symptoms of leukaemia

Less common symptoms of leukaemia can include:

If you notice any of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you have leukaemia, but it’s a good idea to see your doctor for a check-up.

Last reviewed: March 2015

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 355 results

Leukaemia - myDr.com.au

Find out about leukaemia, including the different types, symptoms, causes and treatments.

Read more on myDr website

Acute myeloid leukaemia - Cancer Pathways

For more information about these leukaemias and where to go for support and help call the Leukaemia Foundation on 1800 620 420 or visit www.leukaemia.org.au.

Read more on Cancer Council Victoria website

Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma - NT.GOV.AU

Prevention, symptoms and treatment for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Read more on NT Health website

Leukaemia - Cancer Council Australia

Find out information about leukaemia (or leukemias - U.S. spelling) from Australia's most trusted cancer control organisation.

Read more on Cancer Council Australia website

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia - Information & Support - CanTeen

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukaemia, but only develops gradually. Learn more about causes and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

Leukaemia - Lab Tests Online AU

In Australia about 2,300 adults and 200 children are diagnosed each year with leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells (WBCs). While exposure to radiation, benzene, and some anticancer drugs have been shown to increase the risk of developing leukaemia, and a few cases are associated with genetic disorders or rare viral infections, the cause of most leukaemias is not known.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Leukaemia | Cancer Australia Children's Cancers

Leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It occurs when the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells (lymphocytes), which are part of the bodys immune system to fight infections. Find out more on leukaemia, including the types, risk factors, symptoms and treatment

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Leukaemia - Information, Treatment & Support - CanTeen

Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells, which are made in the bone marrow. Learn more about causes, diagnosis and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia - Information & Support - CanTeen

Acute promyelocytic leukaemia is characterised by a switching of two chromosomes within the DNA. Learn more about causes and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

Leukaemia fact sheet | Cancer Australia

An overview of leukaemia including types, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and finding support.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback