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

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

Children with AML may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with AML do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer. 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 healthy blood cells and the buildup of cancerous AML cells.

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Aching bones and joints

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Bleeding and bruising easily

  • Unhealthy, pale appearance or complexion

If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your child’s doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often your child has been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If AML is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may be called palliative care or supportive care. It is often started soon after diagnosis and continued throughout treatment. Be sure to talk with your child’s health care team about the symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.