Leukemia (Blood Cancer); 11 Important Signs & Symptoms

2Enlargement of the spleen and the liver

Deeply involved with the function of the blood, the spleen and the liver are commonly affected by leukemia, usually by increasing their size as they force their metabolic functions. One of the purposes of the spleen is to clean up the blood from aging or useless red blood cells, and it often activates during leukemia trying to fight off the disease. In the process, the spleen becomes larger, and in some cases, you would even feel the border of this organ near your belly button.

Enlargement of the liver results from the infiltration of malignant cells into the liver tissue. Instead of increasing the function of the liver, this abnormal infiltration impairs the enzymatic potential of the liver. Thus, patients with leukemia often have increased levels of transaminases along with an enlarged liver that goes beyond the line of the ribcage. In some cases, you would find imaging studies with large nodules in the liver, and we should be extra careful around these patients because they may develop a fulminant hepatic failure. Thus, it is important to ask your doctor about your symptoms and perform every blood test and imaging analysis they consider necessary to diagnose your case.