Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. In AML, abnormal myeloid cells, which are immature white blood cells that normally mature into various types of blood cells, are produced in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells.
The cause of AML is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to genetic mutations in the bone marrow cells that give rise to abnormal myeloid cells. Risk factors for AML include exposure to certain chemicals or radiation, as well as genetic disorders such as Down syndrome.
Symptoms of AML can include fatigue, weakness, fever, bruising or bleeding, and frequent infections. AML is diagnosed through blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy.
Treatment for AML typically involves chemotherapy to kill the abnormal cells in the bone marrow, followed by a stem cell transplant to replace the damaged bone marrow with healthy stem cells. Other treatments may also be used depending on the patient’s individual situation. The outlook for AML depends on factors such as the patient’s age and overall health, as well as the subtype of AML and whether the disease has spread beyond the bone marrow.