Patients can often mistake their symptoms to be those of the flu or other infections, and therefore initially dismiss them as harmless. This is a major problem when attempting to diagnose leukaemia as early as possible.
According to our latest survey, 20% leukaemia patients will experience frequent or repeated infections as a symptom prior to their diagnosis. In leukaemia, recurrent infections can occur because your body isn’t producing enough white blood cells to keep your immune system working properly. This means that the you are unable to rapidly destroy any harmful viruses, bacteria or fungi that have made their way into the body.
This is a big problem when attempting to diagnose leukaemia, as leukaemia patients and even GPs will often mistake leukaemia symptoms to be those of the flu or other infections. Technically speaking, they are not always wrong, as the symptoms can be the result of the infection itself, however, there are certain characteristics such as the duration of illness, your tendency to pick up infections and the concurrence with other symptoms of leukaemia that can to distinguish the difference between everyday infections and leukaemia.
For further information on frequent infections as a sign of leukaemia, head to the Leukaemia Care website here.