Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), also known as acute myeloid leukemia, is the most common kind of acute leukemia among adults. Approximately 12,000 cases of acute myelogenous leukemia are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.
AML is a blood cancer in which a type of white blood cells known as “myeloid cells” become cancerous. Healthy myeloid cells kill bacteria. In cases of AML, the bone marrow produces abnormal blood cells known as “myeloblasts.” AML interferes with normal bone marrow function by replacing normal blood cells with leukemia cells. When the abnormal “blast” cells multiply out of control, normal blood marrow cell production is inhibited, causing low numbers of red blood cells, normal white blood cells, and platelets. This can cause anemia, bruising and bleeding, and result in an increased risk of infection.
Acute myelogenous leukemia results from acquired (not inherited) genetic damage to the DNA of developing cells in the bone marrow. Exposure to benzene is a major known cause of AML.
There are several “subtypes” of AML. They include acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute myelocytic leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia (AGL), acute nonlymphotic leukemia, and acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
The following can be symptoms of a blood cancer such as acute myelogenous leukemia (AML):
For more information about acute myelogenous leukemia, including the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, please visit Acute Myelogenous Leukemia: Medical Information.