Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.
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Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. It's called myelogenous leukemia because it affects a group of white blood cells called the myeloid cells, which normally develop into the various types of mature blood cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Acute myelogenous leukemia is also known as acute myeloid leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.
General signs and symptoms of the early stages of acute myelogenous leukemia may mimic those of the flu or other common diseases. Signs and symptoms may vary based on the type of blood cell affected. Signs and symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia include:
Acute myelogenous leukemia is caused by damage to the DNA of developing cells in your bone marrow. When this happens, blood cell production goes awry. The bone marrow produces immature cells that develop into leukemic white blood cells called myeloblasts. These abnormal cells are unable to function properly, and they can build up and crowd out healthy cells.
It's not clear what causes the DNA mutations that lead to leukemia. Radiation, exposure to certain chemicals and some chemotherapy drugs may play a role. It's believed that most cases of acute myelogenous leukemia aren't inherited.
Factors that may increase your risk of acute myelogenous leukemia include:
Treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia depends on several factors, including the subtype of the disease, your age, your overall health and your preferences. In general, treatment falls into two phases:
Acute myelogenous leukemia is an aggressive form of cancer that typically demands quick decision making. That leaves people with a new diagnosis faced with important decisions about a disease they don't yet understand. Here are some tips for coping:
Learn enough to make decisions about your care. The term "leukemia" can be confusing because it refers to a group of cancers that aren't all that similar except for the fact that they affect the bone marrow and blood. You can waste a lot of time researching information that doesn't apply to your kind of leukemia. To avoid that, ask your doctor to write down as much information about your specific disease as possible. Then narrow your search for information accordingly.
Lean on family and friends. It can be tough to talk about your diagnosis, and you'll likely get a range of reactions when you share the news. But talking about your diagnosis can be helpful. So can the outpouring of practical help that often results.
Take care of yourself. It's easy to get caught up in the tests, treatments and procedures of therapy. But it's important to take care of yourself, not just the cancer. Try to make time for yoga, gardening, cooking or other favorite diversions.
If you would like to know the latest treatment and management strategies, using conventional and scientifically backed complementary medicine and therapies, plus an assortment of helpful tips, hints and lifestyle remedies which will improve your overall quality of life, then call into our pharmacy and we'll be delighted to help.