2/1/2021 Sophia Hogg
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow the spongy tissue within the bones where blood cells are formed.
The word "acute" in acute myelogenous leukemia signifies the disease's rapid progression. It is known as myelogenous leukemia because it affects a group of white blood cells known as the myeloid cells, which generally develop into the various kinds of matured blood cells, for instance red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Acute myelogenous leukemia is also called as acute myeloid leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.Request a callback
Symptoms of the early stages of acute myelogenous leukemia might mimic those of the flu or other common diseases.
Signs and symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia involve:
Lethargy and fatigue
Shortness of breath
Unusual bleeding, like frequent nosebleeds and bleeding from the gums
Make an appointment with a doctor or primary care physician if you develop any signs or symptoms which seem unusual or that worry you.
Acute myeloid leukaemia occurs when a bone marrow cell develops, alters or mutates its genetic material or DNA. A cell's DNA consists of the instructions which tell a cell what to do. Generally, the DNA tells the cell to grow at a set rate and to die at a set time. In acute myelogenous leukemia, the mutations instruct the bone marrow cell to continue growing and dividing.
When this occurs, blood cell production gets out of hand. The bone marrow produces immature cells which develop into leukemic white blood cells known as myeloblasts. These abnormal cells are incapable of working properly, and they could accumulate and displace healthy cells.
It is not clear what causes the DNA mutations which lead to leukemia, but primary care physicians have identified factors which increase the risk.
Factors which might increase your risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) involve:
Many people with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) have no known risk factors, and many people who have risk factors never develop the cancer.
If you have signs or symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia, your primary care physician might suggest that you undergo diagnostic tests, including:
If your primary care physician suspects leukemia, you might be referred to a primary care physician who specializes in blood cancer hematologist or medical oncologist.
If your primary care physician determines that you have AML, you might require further tests to determine the extent of the cancer and classify it into a more specific AML subtype.
Your AML subtype is based on how your cells look like when examined under a microscope. Special laboratory testing also might be used to identify the specific characteristics of your cells.
Your AML subtype helps determine which treatments might be best for you. Primary care physicians are studying how different types of cancer treatment affect people with different AML subtypes.
Treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia depends upon several factors, including the subtype of the disease, your age, your overall health and your preferences.
In general, treatment falls into two stages:
Remission induction therapy - The purpose of the first stage of treatment is to kill the leukemia cells in your blood and bone marrow. Although, remission induction generally does not wipe out all of the leukemia cells, so you require further treatment to stop the disease from returning.
Consolidation therapy - Also called post-remission therapy or maintenance therapy, this stage of treatment is aimed at destroying the remaining leukemia cells. It is considered important to decrease the risk of relapse.
Therapies used in these stages include:
Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy is the major form of remission induction therapy, though it could also be used for consolidation therapy. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill off cancerous cells in your body.
People with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) usually stay in the hospital during chemotherapy treatments because the drugs destroy many normal blood cells in the process of killing leukemia cells. If the first cycle of chemotherapy does not cause remission, it could be repeated.
Targeted therapy - Targeted drug treatments focus on certain abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments have the potential to kill cancer cells. Your leukemia cells will be tested to see if targeted therapy might be helpful for you. Targeted therapy could be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy for induction and consolidation therapy.
Bone marrow transplant - A bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, might be used for consolidation therapy. A bone marrow transplant helps re-establish healthy stem cells by replacing unhealthy bone marrow with leukemia-free stem cells which will regenerate healthy bone marrow.
Before doing a bone marrow transplant, you receive very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy your leukemia-producing bone marrow. Then you receive infusions of stem cells from a compatible donor or allogeneic transplant.
You could also receive your own stem cells or autologous transplant if you were previously in remission and had your healthy stem cells removed and stored for a future transplant.
Clinical trials - Some people with leukemia choose to participate in clinical trials to try experimental treatments or new combinations of known therapies.