More than 50% of patients experience this symptom, which can be misleadingly attributed to a less serious condition.
Cancer ranks as a major contributor to mortality in the UK. The disease manifests when abnormal cells multiply uncontrollably and can potentially infiltrate and damage surrounding tissue and organs.
Fiona Hazell, the Chief Executive of Leukaemia UK, cautioned that leukaemia, a form of blood cancer, can give rise to an “invisible” symptom.
Instead, this symptom can solely be perceived by the individual experiencing it.
Fiona Hazell stated, “One of the most frequently reported symptoms of leukaemia is fatigue, with over 50 percent of patients describing sensations of extreme tiredness or exhaustion.”
According to Blood Cancer UK, this is characterized as prolonged fatigue that “doesn’t improve with rest.” Fiona cautioned that this could be easily overlooked as a sign of something less severe, such as a common cold.
“Feelings of fatigue can be attributed to the common cold, a viral infection, or even just everyday stresses,” she noted. For this reason, she advised seeking medical assistance if something seems amiss.
Fiona emphasized, “The most important thing to do is trust your body.
If you know that your feelings of fatigue are more than just everyday tiredness, do not dismiss that feeling.”
“Visit your GP and ask for a blood test if you’re concerned,” she urged. She mentioned that a blood test is the “only way to diagnose” leukemia.
Other common symptoms of leukemia, as per Blood Cancer UK, include:
- Bruising and bleeding more easily, or bleeding that takes longer to stop
- Infections that are more frequent, severe, or last longer
- Fever (high temperature)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes (glands in your neck, armpit, and groin)
- Feeling generally unwell.
The charity noted that there are other general symptoms of leukemia such as loss of appetite and headaches.
“Reach out to your GP if you have concerns about any symptoms you’re encountering.”
Leukemia can also lead to symptoms like heightened sweating, an enlarged liver, bone pain, and blood clots.
Fatigue is also recognized as a general symptom of cancer.
Cancer Research UK identifies the following as “key” cancer signs:
- Experiencing very heavy night sweats
- Unexplained fatigue
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained pain or aching
- An unusual lump or swelling anywhere in the body
- A new mole or changes to an existing mole
- Skin changes or a sore that doesn’t heal.
The information also states: “Many factors can lead to increased fatigue, especially during stressful situations or periods of sleep disturbances. However, if you’re experiencing persistent and unexplained fatigue, it might indicate an underlying issue – consult your doctor.”
This information is provided by FIONA CALLINGHAM, a Health Reporter who specializes in medical studies, disease symptoms, real-life stories, and current public health concerns.