• 5,930 Americans suffer from leukemia
  • Approximately, 1,500 patients die every year
  • Night sweats can be a warning sign
  • Men have a greater risk of leukemia

Leukemia starts in the bone marrow where blood cells are generated. This type of cancer is very common among children than in adults. According to the recent estimates, about 5,930 Americans get affected by leukemia and about 1,500 leukemia patients die every year.

Catching leukemia early allows for more treatment options. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly screening tests to detect cancers early. However, since there aren’t any special tests to detect leukemia at an early stage, the best way to find it is to report any possible signs or symptoms to the doctor.

In some cases of leukemia, the cancer cells cause the body to release certain chemicals that stimulate the brain to increase the body temperature, leading to night sweats. Such night sweats are a typical symptom of cancers, particularly blood-related ones like leukemia.

Other early warning signs of leukemia to watch for, according to the Mayo Clinic, include fever or chills, persistent weakness or fatigue, unintended weight loss, tiny red spots in the skin, bone pain or tenderness, frequent flu-like symptoms, frequent infections, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen or liver, recurring nosebleeds and easy bruising or bleeding.

The symptoms of leukemia are quite often vague and non-specific. It is commonly overlooked since it can mimic the symptoms of flu or other common infections. In some cases, leukemia gets diagnosed during blood tests taken for other conditions.

This life-threatening disease usually involves white blood cells (WBCs). It occurs when the bone marrow produces an abnormal amount of WBCs, which do not function properly.

The risk of developing leukemia is the highest among kids younger than 5 years and the risk slowly decline until the mid-20s and, then, rises again after the age of 50. About 4 in every 10 cases of this kind of blood cancer are in adults.

Leukemia is not a common type of cancer and an average person’s risk of getting it is about 1 in 1000. The risk is more prominent among men and whites than women and African Americans, respectively.

A child wears a mask at a hospital for people suffering from leukemia in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 23, 2011. Getty Images/ Alexander Khudoteply