Alternate Names : Acute myelogenous leukemia, AML, Acute granulocytic leukemia, Acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL), Leukemia – acute myeloid (AML), Leukemia – acute granulocytic, Leukemia – nonlymphocytic (ANLL)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. The cancer grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells.
Acute means the disease develops quickly.
* Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
* Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most common types of leukemia among adults. This type of cancer is rare under age 40. It generally occurs around age 65. (This article focuses on AML in adults.)
AML is more common in men than women.
Persons with this type of cancer have abnormal cells inside their bone marrow. The cells grow very fast, and replace healthy blood cells. The bone marrow, which helps the body fight infections, eventually stops working correctly. Persons with AML become more prone to infections and have an increased risk for bleeding as the numbers of healthy blood cells decrease.
Most of the time, a doctor cannot tell you what caused AML. However, the following things are thought to lead to some types of leukemia, including AML:
* Certain chemicals (for example, benzene)
* Certain chemotherapy drugs, including etoposide and drugs known as alkylating agents
Problems with your genes may also play a role in the development of AML.
You have an increased risk for AML if you have or had any of the following:
* A weakened immune system (immunosuppression) due to an organ transplant
* Blood disorders, including:
o Polycythemia vera
o Essential thrombocythemia
o Myelodysplasia (refractory anemia)
* Exposure to radiation and chemicals
Pictures & Images:
Acute monocytic leukemia – skin
Acute monocytic leukemia. These lesions are rarely found in chronic leukemia but are a common finding in acute forms. They appear as erythematous infiltrations of the skin, forming papules, macules, and plaques. Pruritus may be present.
Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.