Signs and Symptoms Of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Executive Summary

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is diagnosed based on its symptoms. The signs and symptoms of the childhood ALL experienced by the individuals help describe a medical problem. The most common symptoms of childhood ALL include frequent infections, persistent fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, feeling weak and tired all the time, paleness, bone pain, enlarged liver or spleen, bruising or bleeding easily, and difficulty in breathing.

Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia may experience the following signs or symptoms. Sometimes, children with ALL 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 can look very much like the flu or other common illnesses. When one or more of these symptoms lasts longer than you would expect or are worried about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor ​1​.

  • Frequent infections
  • A fever that doesn’t go away
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes (for example, in the neck, under the arms, or in the groin)
  • Feeling weak and tired all the time
  • Paleness
  • Bone pain
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Difficulty breathing

If you are worried about changes in your child’s experiences, please talk with your child’s doctor.


  1. 1.
    Alvarnas JC, Brown PA, Aoun P, et al. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 2.2015. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. Published online October 2015:1240-1279. doi:10.6004/jnccn.2015.0153