What is AML?
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) goes by many names, including acute myelocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, and acute non-lymphocytic leukemia. Acute means that the leukemia can grow quickly, and if not treated, could be fatal in a few months.
AML is a cancer that starts in the cells that are supposed to mature into different types of blood cells. AML starts in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of the bones, where new blood cells are made), but in most cases it quickly moves into the blood. It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles (in men).
In contrast, other types of cancer can start in these organs and then spread to the bone marrow (or other places). Those cancers are not leukemia.(SOURCE: http://www.cancer.org)
Signs & Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms for AML are common to many illnesses. Some changes that a person with AML may have are:
•Tiredness or no energy
•Shortness of breath during physical activity
•Slow healing of cuts
•Pinhead-size red spots under the skin
•Prolonged bleeding from minor cuts
•Black-and-blue marks (bruises) with no clear cause
•Aches in bones or knees, hips or shoulder.
The best advice for any person troubled by any of these symptoms is to see a healthcare provider.
Leukemias are the most common type of childhood cancer.
Approximately 2,400 children and adolescents younger than 20 years diagnosed with ALL each year in the United States. There is a sharp peak in incidence of ALL and AML for 2-3 year olds.
Survival rates for childhood ALL in first remission are now approaching 80%.
Survival rates for children with AML is in the 40% range and remains one of the poorest of childhood cancers. Much work remains to be done to improve outcomes for this group of patients.