Acute myelogenous leukemia is a cancer disease of the blood and bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are prepared. The term “acute” in acute myelogenous leukemia indicates the rapid progression of the disease. It is called myelogenous leukemia because it affects a group of white blood cells called the myeloid cells, which usually develop into the various types of mature blood cells, like red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Acute myelogenous leukemia is also called acute myeloid leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.
Symptoms of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
General signs and symptoms of the primary stages of acute myelogenous leukemia may mimic those of the flu or other prevalent diseases. Signs and symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia may differ based on the type of blood cell affected. Signs and symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia include:
2) Bone pain
3) Lethargy and fatigue discomfort
4) Shortness of breath
5) Pale skin
6) Frequent infections
7) Easy bruising
8) Unusual bleeding, like frequent nosebleeds and bleeding from the gums
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Causes
Acute myelogenous leukemia caused by damage to the DNA of improving cells in the bone marrow. When this occurs, blood cell production goes wrong. The bone marrow generates immature cells that develop into leukemic white blood cells known as myeloblasts. These abnormal cells are not able to function correctly, and they can build up and crowd out healthy cells. In most cases, it is unclear what causes of Acute myelogenous leukemia. Radiation, exposure to particular chemicals, and some chemotherapy drugs are known risk factors for acute myelogenous leukemia.
Diagnosis of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
If you have signs or symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia, the doctor may suggest that you undergo diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia involving:
1) Blood examines
2) Bone marrow test
3) Lumbar puncture
4) Genomic testing
If the doctor suspects leukemia, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood cancer called hematologist or medical oncologist for the proper diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia.
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Treatment
Treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia depends on many factors, including the subtype of the disease, your age, your overall health condition, and your choices.
1) Remission induction therapy: The purpose of the first phase of treatment is to destroy the leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow. However, remission induction typically does not wipe out all of the leukemia cells, so you require further treatment to prevent the disease from reviving.
2) Consolidation therapy: Also known as post-remission therapy, maintenance therapy, or intensification, this phase of treatment is focused on killing the remaining leukemia cells. It is considered crucial to minimizing the chance of relapse.
3) Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the dominant form of remission induction therapy, though it can also be applied for consolidation therapy. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to destroy cancer cells in the body.
People with AML usually stay in the hospital during chemotherapy treatments because the drugs spoil many healthy blood cells in the process of destroying leukemia cells. If the first cycle of chemotherapy does not make remission, it can be repeated.
4) Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy uses drugs that attack specific vulnerabilities within the cancer cells.
5) Other drug therapy
6) Bone marrow transplant: A bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, may be applied for consolidation therapy. A bone marrow transplant assists re-establish healthy stem cells by replacing unhealthy bone marrow with leukemia-free stem cells that will reproduce healthy bone marrow.
Before a bone marrow transplant, you get very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill the leukemia-generating bone marrow. Then you obtain infusions of stem cells from a compatible donor.
You can also get your own stem cells if you were previously in remission and had the healthy stem cells omitted and stored for a future transplant.