Thursday, 29 December 2011

Leukaemia.Please learn how to spot the symptoms of this cruel disease....


This week I heard the shocking news that a local healthy teenage boy had died from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) after initially feeling unwell for a few days during the Christmas holidays.

My two daughters attend the same school, and had known Nathan for many years. There was no warning of the Leukaemia or of the fatal was such a tragic event. I can only try to imagine what his family must be going through right now.

How can this sort of thing happen? How can a normal, healthy teenager suddenly go from being a little off colour to being seriously ill and then die?

Well the answer is mostly due to the way that Leukaemia presents itself in the individual, in the way it mimics the effects of a heavy cold or flu. The wolf is, in the case of this disease,very well hidden in sheep's clothing.

Sadly, what happened to this young man this week has happened too many times before.Please make sure that if you have any suspicion that the cold may be anything more or you recognize any of the symptoms mentioned below give NHS Direct a call, just to be on the safe side.

NHS Direct can be called on 08454647 or click HERE to view their website. 

Symptoms that MAY indicate Leukaemia but are by no means unique to this illness.


  • Look for red pin points under the surface of the skin.
    This condition is caused by blood finding its way out of the capillaries near the surface of the skin. Its technical name is petechiae. This is often due to a lowering of the platelet count due to the ongoing affects of leukemia.
  • 2
    Pay attention to ongoing fatigue and weakness in the body.
    Especially in children this should be a sign for concern. Children are active and energetic, playful and full of life. Weakened children who are always in need of rest may have a serious condition. Any active human being, child or adult, who faces ongoing unexplainable fatigue is showing signs of a problem. Leukemia may or may not be the culprit, but a visit to your health care provider is in order.
  • 3
    Notice any aching or bone pain.
    Leukemia affects the bone marrow and spreads out to affect the rest of the body through the blood. Do not put off getting bone pain checked out as it is one of the common leukemia symptoms. As with all cancers, cancer treatments for leukemia are most effective when the disease is discovered early.
  • 4
    Report any swollen lymph nodes or hard places in the abdomen.
    In lymphatic leukemia the nodes can swell to unusual size. Note around the neck, armpits, and groin where any swelling occurs and make an appointment for a full screening if you suspect something your symptoms are more than a brief illness.
  • 5
    Keep track of repeated infections or easy bruising..
    Since leukemia affects the white blood cells, the body's ability to fight off infections is dramatically reduced. Keep records of your own or your child's infections and be sure that they are not forming a pattern. Easy bruising can also be a sign of the blood's low platelet count.

  • Our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts go out to this young mans family at this tragic time and judging by the hundreds of flowers laid both at his home and at the skate park across the road, many many others are also shocked and saddened by Nathan's passing.



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