Do leukemia bruises hurt?

Understanding Leukemia Bruises and Painful Symptoms

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It causes an abnormal increase of white blood cells, which can interfere with the normal production of red blood cells and platelets. The platelets are responsible for blood clotting, and when there is a decrease in their level, it can lead to easy bruising and bleeding.

The symptoms of leukemia vary depending on the type and stage of cancer. One of the most noticeable signs of leukemia is easy bruising, which can be painful and concerning for patients. In this article, we will explore more about leukemia bruises and whether they cause pain or not.

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a type of cancer that develops in the blood cells. It affects the bone marrow, which produces new blood cells. Leukemia cells grow and divide faster than normal cells, which can lead to an overproduction of white blood cells. This can lead to problems with normal blood cell function, which can cause various symptoms. The type of leukemia can vary depending on the type of cells involved and the development and progression of the disease.

Types of Leukemia

There are several types of leukemia, including:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
  • Hairy cell leukemia

The type and severity of leukemia can differ from person to person. Some types may progress quickly, while others may take a longer time to develop.

Leukemia Bruises

Easy bruising is a common symptom of leukemia. When platelet levels are low, it can lead to bleeding and bruising more easily than normal. These bruises can occur in any area of the body and often appear as small red or purple spots on the skin.

Do Leukemia Bruises Hurt?

It is common for leukemia bruises to be painless. This is because they occur when small blood vessels under the skin break and leak blood. The blood then pools, causing discoloration of the skin. However, in some cases, leukemia bruises can be painful, especially if they occur on bony areas or if they are particularly large.

When leukemia patients experience pain from bruises, it is essential to talk with their doctor. They may recommend pain medications or other therapies to manage symptoms.

Other Symptoms of Leukemia

Bruising is not the only symptom of leukemia. Other common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever and chills
  • Sweating, particularly at night
  • Bone pain
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent infections

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the above symptoms, including easy bruising, it’s important to see a doctor. They can examine any bruises and other symptoms and perform blood tests to check for leukemia or other blood disorders.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Leukemia

If a doctor suspects leukemia, they will perform a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. They may also perform other tests, such as imaging tests or a bone marrow biopsy, to determine the type and severity of leukemia.

The treatment of leukemia depends on the type and stage of cancer. Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplants, and targeted therapy. Discussing the options with your doctor can help determine which treatment is best for you.

The Bottom Line

Leukemia bruises can be a concerning symptom for many people, but they are a common symptom of the disease. It is not unusual for leukemia bruises to be painless, but in some cases, they can be painful depending on the location and size. If you are experiencing bruises or any other symptoms of leukemia, it is important to visit your doctor to determine the underlying cause and discuss appropriate treatment options.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Do all types of leukemia cause bruising?
  • No, bruising is not always a symptom of leukemia. However, it is a common symptom that can occur in certain types of leukemia when platelet levels are low.

  • Can leukemia bruises look different from other bruises?
  • Leukemia bruises can appear different from other bruises. They can occur as small red or purple spots and may be more widespread. They may also take longer to heal than regular bruises.

  • Is bruising a sign of leukemia in children?
  • Yes, bruising can be a symptom of leukemia in children. Other symptoms may include fatigue, bone pain, and fever.

  • Can leukemia bruises occur inside the body?
  • Yes, leukemia bruises can occur inside the body. Depending on the severity of leukemia, they may occur in organs such as the liver or spleen. This can lead to abdominal pain or swelling.

  • Is leukemia bruising contagious?
  • No, leukemia bruising is not contagious. It is a symptom of leukemia that is caused by a disruption of normal blood cell function.


1. National Cancer Institute. (2021). Leukemia. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from

2. American Cancer Society. (2020). Leukemia. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from

3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Leukemia. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from