Acute Myeloid Leukemia

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What is acute myeloid leukemia?

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of cancer in which the soft inner part of certain bones causes abnormal myeloblasts (a type of white blood cell), red blood cells, or platelets.

However, in most cases, it runs in the blood rapidly. It can occasionally spread to different parts of the body such as the lymph nodes liver, spleen and central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia?

The effects of the cells that leukemia starts from in the bone marrow result in most symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia, make it impossible to produce enough normal blood cells.

Here are common symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia:

  • The patient looks very pale and feels exhausted. He may have shortness of breath easily. This can be result from lacking of red blood cells.
  • The patient lacking of healthy white blood cells is having several infections one by one.
  • Too few platelets may lead to unusual bleeding, including bruising without any explicit reason, heavy periods in women, bleeding gums, and continual nosebleeds.
  • The patient may develop blood spots or rashes on the skin.
  • In general, the patient may feel unwell and run down, maybe with a sore throat or mouth.
  • The patient may experience high fever and serious night sweats.

Some rare symptoms may happen:

The patient may have an aching feeling of joints and bones. Besides, raised bluish-purple areas may appear under the pale skin.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What are the causes of acute myeloid leukemia?

According to some studies, the change in DNA can cause normal bone marrow cells to become leukemia cells. The normal human cells grow and function based on the information contained in each cell’s chromosomes. Chromosomes are long strands of DNA in each cell.

And the different cases of acute myeloid leukemia have different chromosome changes, and some changes are more common than others. Besides, most DNA changes related to acute myeloid leukemia occur during a person’s lifetime.

Know the risk factors

What are the risk factors for acute myeloid leukemia?

There are some risk factors that could lead to acute myeloid leukemia:

  • Smoking;
  • Certain chemical exposures;
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs;
  • Radiation exposures;
  • Certain blood disorders;
  • Genetic syndromes;
  • Family history;
  • Older age;
  • Male gender;
  • Uncertain, unproven or controversial risk factors.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How to diagnose acute myeloid leukemia?

Screening tests are recommended to diagnose early detection of certain cancer in people without any symptoms. However, there is no any special test to diagnose acute myeloid leukemia early, so the doctor suggests that you report any possible symptoms of leukemia to he or she right away.

How is acute myeloid leukemia treated?

Patients with various subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia need specific treatments.  The first important treatment for acute myeloid leukemia is chemotherapy, sometimes followed by a stem cell transplant. Also, other medicines may be used to cure acute promyelocytic leukemia. In special cases, surgery and radiation therapy are the main methods.

Because an acute myeloid leukemia can rise quickly, it is necessary that you should start treatment as soon as you can.

Firstly, you may think about taking part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are the ultra-modern cancer treatment. In some circumstances, they may be the one and only method to enter the newer treatments. If you consider clinical trials, begin by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital carries out clinical trials.

Secondly, it is also a good idea to set your mind on complementary and alternative methods. Complementary methods are used together with your regular medical treatment. Otherwise, alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment. These methods are claimed to be helpful in relieving symptoms or make you feel better. But some of these methods have not been proven to work. You need to talk to your doctor about any method you are considering using.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

How to manage acute myeloid leukemia?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with health condition:

  • Stop smoking;
  • Do some exercise;
  • Eat health.
  • Keep the sanctity balance.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 13, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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