Leukemia Symptoms; 11 Common Leukemia Signs & Symptoms

7. Uncontrolled bleeding and thrombosis

Patients with leukemia have various types of blood clotting and healing problems, and the root cause lies in an alteration of the normal function of the bone marrow. In the bone marrow, we have the stem cells that convert into various types of blood cells. There are many structural and functional changes in the bone marrow, and the number of platelets is significantly reduced. That’s why patients usually display easy bruising and continuous bleeding with a very slow healing process.

Some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia would also display something called disseminated intravascular coagulation when they are diagnosed. It is an abnormal activation of the blood coagulation throughout the body that contributes to the formation of microscopic thrombi. As a result, there are no available clotting factors and platelets when there is an actual bruise, and it increases the bleeding. These patients are also more susceptible to thrombosis and similar complications. Thus, they often need to remain hospitalized for a very long time.

The most common manifestation of coagulation disorders in these patients are spotting and changes of colour in the skin, primarily located in the lower extremities. Patients may wake up with a new bruise, clinically named ecchymosis, and sometimes they have smaller spots in the skin, called petechiae.