Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What is Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Dr.'s Discription-----Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside the large bones of the body where blood cells are made. In AML, the bone marrow amkes large numbers of immature white blood cells called blasts. Thes blast cells crowd out the normal cells of the bone marrow. They may also invade the body organs including the brain, testes (in boys), ovaries (in girls), or skin. These cancerous AML cells can sometimes form a solid tumor called a chloroma.

Webster Difinition-----Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. AML is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults, and its incidence increases with age. Although AML is a relatively rare disease, accounting for approximately 1.2% of cancer deaths in the United States,[1] its incidence is expected to increase as the population ages.
The symptoms of AML are caused by replacement of normal bone marrow with leukemic cells, which causes a drop in red blood cells, platelets, and normal white blood cells. These symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding, and increased risk of infection. Several risk factors and chromosomal abnormalities have been identified, but the specific cause is not clear. As an acute leukemia, AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated.

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