Symptoms - Acute myeloid leukaemia

The symptoms of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) usually develop over a few weeks, becoming more severe as the number of immature white blood cells (blast cells) in your blood increases.

Symptoms of AML can include:

  • pale skin
  • tiredness
  • breathlessness
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • excessive sweating
  • weight loss
  • frequent infections
  • unusual and frequent bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds
  • easily bruised skin
  • flat red or purple spots on the skin (petechiae)
  • bone and joint pain
  • a feeling of fullness or discomfort in your tummy (abdomen), caused by swelling of the liver or spleen

In rare cases of AML, the affected cells can spread into the central nervous system. This can cause symptoms such as headaches, fits (seizures), vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness.

When to seek medical advice

See your GP if you or your child have the symptoms listed above. Although it's highly unlikely that AML is the cause, these symptoms need to be investigated and treated promptly.

Page last reviewed: 14/03/2016
Next review due: 01/03/2019