Acute myeloid leukemia is one type of blood cancer that starts in the bone marrows. Bone marrows are the soft inner portions of the bone. AML generally begins in those cells that convert into white blood cells (WBC), however, could start in other cells that form blood as well.

These acute kinds of leukemia like AML, the cells in bone marrows do not grow the normal way. Instead immature cells that are called blasts build up in the body. There are other names for this condition, like:

  • Acute granulocytic leukemia
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Acute myelocytic leukemia
  • Acute non-lymphatic leukemia

If treatment is not provided on time, this condition could be life-threatening. It could spread really quickly in your blood and to several other parts of the body, like lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain and the spinal cord, and testicles.

The severity and acuteness of myeloid leukemia depends on certain factors, including how best it responds to the treatment administered. The condition is under control if you are younger than the age of 60 years. In case your white blood count is lower in the time of diagnosis, also there aren’t other blood disorders or incidents of cancer in the past, there aren’t cases of certain chromosome or gene changes in the past.

Causes/Risk Factors

  • It is difficult for physicians to identify the causes behind AML. However, certain things may increase the possibilities in an individual of getting AML. The risk factors in acquiring AML include smoking, coming in close proximity of certain chemicals like benzene – a chemical that’s used in several industries, found in cigarette, and oil refineries, people who are exposed to pesticides, radiation, certain highly toxic cleaning products, paint strippers, and detergents.
  • This condition could also be triggered by certain chemotherapy drugs used in treatment of other types of cancers. Drugs like mitoxantrone, melphalan, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide. The condition could also occur in case an individual s exposed to high dose of harmful radiations.
  • Certain conditions of blood like myeloproliferative malfunctions (like, chronic myelogenous blood cancer). In case it is hereditary, where a parent or someone in the close family who suffered from AML, it could bring about the condition.
  • Certain syndromes that are genetic like trisomy 8, Li-Fraumeni, Down syndrome, and neurofibromatosis type 1 can cause AML.

According to physicians, there’s no way AML can be prevented, however, the risk could be lowered by limiting contacts with harmful chemicals and reducing smoking.

Symptoms

The first symptom with leukemia is usually like flu. With this, the individual may feel fatigue, fever, loss of appetite or weight loss, headaches, unusual bruising or bleeding, tiny red spots could be seen in your skin, swollen gums, liver or spleen. You could also feel more infections than in general.

Diagnosis

Physicians generally seek medical history of an individual. They will conduct a physical examination and look for signs of bleeding, infection, or bruising. You could have tests that include:

Blood tests- with complete blood count that will clearly show the number of counts of each type of blood cell is. A surrounding blood smear will check for the blast cells.

Test of the bone marrow- With the assistance of a needle, the physician would take a sample of the blood, marrow, and bone from the breastbone or hip. A specialist would examine the sample under a microscope to look for signs of AML.

Lumbar puncture or spinal tap- The physician uses a needle and takes some cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal cord area. This is checked by a specialist for leukemia cells.

Gene tests- A lab will test your leukemia cells to see if any gene or chromosome changes surface. The test results would inform your doctors more about the AML status to help them gather best treatment.

Cura Multispecialty Hospital’s Treatment

At Cura, the cancer, tumors, and blood department homes some of the best physicians. We also have some of the best lab testing facilities and advanced diagnostic unit that can help in early diagnosis of the condition and hence, the kind of treatment that would be best. Our medical staff is there 24/7 to take care of any emergencies and also to help cure a patient completely, even though they understand that the condition is critical and at times beyond their capacity of cure.