Leukemia strikes early blood-forming cells, usually the white blood cells, but sometimes it occurs in other types of blood cells. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2018 estimated statistics, there will be about 60,300 new cases of leukemia in the United States in 2018, and about 24,370 deaths will result from this disease. There are several different types of leukemia, such as Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Each type has its own risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options.
AML begins in the bone marrow, but usually moves quickly into the bones, and sometimes to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system, and testicles.
The American Cancer Society estimates 19,520 new cases of AML for 2018, with nearly all of them occurring in adults (average age is 68). About 10,670 deaths are expected from this disease.
While it is unclear what causes most cases of AML, some known risk factors include the following:
The general symptoms of AML include the following:
If signs and symptoms indicate the need, certain steps will be taken to diagnose AML:
AML is not “staged” like other cancers. Instead, it is categorized based on factors such as its subtype (based on the lab tests), the patient’s age, and other lab results. There are two types of classification systems.The most recent system, created by the World Health Organization, is based on certain factors of the disease that the previous system overlooked. This new system uses the following categories:
Because AML is not a single disease, but a group of related diseases, treatment options vary, as does the response to these treatments.
As with many cancers, not smoking is the greatest known way to prevent AML. However, most of the known risk factors cannot be avoided, so there is really no known way to prevent the majority of the cases.