Acute Myeloid Leukemia – What it is, Causes and Treatments

Acute Myeloid Leukemia – What is it, Causes and Treatments  of this condition. Additionally, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) has many other names including Acute Myelocytic Leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia , Acute Granulocytic Leukemia , and Acute Non-lymphocytic Leukemia. “Myeloid” refers to the type of cell this leukemia starts with. Most cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia  develop from cells that would turn into white blood cells (in addition to lymphocytes), but some cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia  develop from other types of blood-forming cells. So, check out now  Acute Myeloid Leukemia – What is it, Causes and Treatments:

What is Acute Myeloid Leukemia:  Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow  – the spongy tissue inside the bones where blood cells are made. The word “acute” in Acute Myeloid Leukemia denotes the rapid progression of the disease.

It’s called myelogenous leukemia (my-uh-LOHJ-uh-nus) because it affects a group of white blood cells called myeloid cells, which normally develop into the various types of mature blood cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Acute Myeloid Leukemia  is also known as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia, Acute Granulocytic Leukemia, and Acute Non-lymphocytic Leukemia.

Causes of Acute Myeloid Leukemia:  Acute Myeloid Leukemia is caused by DNA damage to the developing cells in your bone marrow . When this happens, blood cell production goes awry. The bone marrow  produces immature cells that develop into leukemic white blood cells called myeloblasts.

These abnormal cells are unable to function properly, and they can create and expel healthy cells. In most cases, it is unclear what causes the DNA mutations that lead to leukemia. Radiation, exposure to certain chemicals and some chemotherapy drugs are known risk factors for Acute Myeloid Leukemia .

Symptoms of Acute Myeloid Leukemia:  The general signs and symptoms of the early stages of  Acute Myeloid Leukemia can mimic those of the flu or other common illnesses. Signs and symptoms may vary depending on the type of blood cell affected. Signs and symptoms of  Acute Myeloid Leukemia include:

  • Fever
  • bone pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Pale skin
  • frequent infections
  • easy bleeds
  • Unusual bleeding, such as frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums

Make an appointment with a doctor if you develop any signs or symptoms that seem unusual or worry you.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Risk Factors:  Factors that can increase your risk of Acute Myeloid Leukemia include:

  • Advanced age. The risk of Acute Myeloid Leukemia increases with age. Acute Myeloid Leukemia is more common in adults aged 65 years and older.
  • Be Man. Men are more likely to develop Acute Myeloid Leukemia than women.
  • Previous cancer treatment. People who have had certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy may have a higher risk of developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia .
  • Radiation exposure. People exposed to very high levels of radiation, such as survivors of a nuclear reactor accident, are at an increased risk of developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia .
  • Hazardous chemical exposure. Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene, is linked to an increased risk of Acute Myeloid Leukemia .
  • Smoke. Acute Myeloid Leukemia is linked to cigarette smoke, which contains benzene and other cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Other blood diseases. People who have suffered from another blood disorder such as myelodysplasia, polycythemia or thrombocythemia are at a higher risk of developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia .
  • Genetic disorders. Certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome , are associated with an increased risk of Acute Myeloid Leukemia .

Many people with Acute Myeloid Leukemia have no known risk factors, and many people who do have risk factors never develop cancer.

Treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukemia:  Treatment for  Acute Myeloid Leukemia depends on several factors, including the disease subtype, your age, general health, and your preferences. In general, treatment falls into two phases:

  • Remission induction therapy. The goal of the first phase of treatment is to kill the leukemia cells in your blood and bone marrow . However, inducing remission usually doesn’t clear all the leukemia cells, so you need additional treatment to prevent the disease from coming back.
  • Consolidation therapy. Also called post-remission therapy, maintenance therapy, or intensifying therapy, this phase of treatment is designed to destroy the remaining leukemia cells. It is considered crucial to decrease the risk of relapse.

Therapies used in these phases include:

  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the main form of remission-inducing therapy, although it can also be used for consolidation therapy. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells in your body. People with Acute Myeloid Leukemia often stay in the hospital during chemotherapy treatments because the drugs destroy many normal blood cells in the process of killing leukemia cells. If the first cycle of chemotherapy does not cause remission, it can be repeated.
  • Other therapeutic drugs. Arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) are anticancer drugs that can be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy to induce remission of a certain subtype of called promyelocytic leukemia. These drugs cause Acute Myeloid Leukemia  cells with a specific genetic mutation to mature and die, or to stop dividing.
  • Stem cell transplantation. A stem cell transplant, also called a bone marrow transplant , can be used for consolidation therapy. A stem cell transplant helps restore healthy stem cells by replacing unhealthy bone marrow with stem cells free from Acute Myeloid Leukemia  that will regenerate  healthy bone marrow . Before a stem cell transplant, you are given very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation to destroy your bone marrow that produces leukemia. Then you receive stem cell infusions from a compatible donor (allogeneic transplant). You may also receive your own stem cells (autologous transplant) if you were previously in remission and had your healthy stem cells removed and stored for a future transplant.
  • Clinical trials. Some people with Acute Myeloid Leukemia  choose to enroll in clinical trials to try experimental treatments or new combinations of known therapies.

Alternative Medicine:  No alternative treatments have been found useful in the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia . But some complementary and alternative treatments can alleviate the symptoms you experience due to cancer or cancer treatment. Alternative treatments that can help relieve symptoms of  Acute Myeloid Leukemia . These treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • aromatherapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • relaxation exercises

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