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Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood usually in which too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced in the bone marrow.
Normally, bone marrow cells mature into several different types of blood cells. Acute myelogenous leukemia usually affects the young blood cells (called blasts) that develop into a type of white blood cell (called granulocytes). The main function of granulocytes is to destroy bacteria. The blasts, which do not mature and become too numerous, remain in the bone marrow and blood. Acute leukemia can occur over a short period of days to weeks. Chromosome abnormalities (extra chromosomes and structural changes in the chromosome material) are present in the majority of AML patients.
According to the American Cancer Society, of the 43,050 leukemia cases expected in 2010, AML will account for 12,330 cases.
The following are the most common symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for acute myelogenous leukemia may include the following:
Specific treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia will be determined by your physician based on:
Treatment may include: