Leukemia - Acute Myeloid - AML - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Children with AML may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with AML do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor.

The early signs and symptoms of AML can look very much like the flu or other common childhood illnesses. Most of the signs and symptoms of AML are caused by the bone marrow making fewer normal blood cells and the buildup of cancerous AML cells. Often a child with AML will have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aching bones and joints
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bleeding and bruising easily
  • Paleness
  • Fatigue

The doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long your child has been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your child’s health care team about symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.