Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow. It can affect both children and adults, and there are a few different types. AML is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, progressing quickly if not treated.
The causes of AML are still being investigated; however, some people appear to be at greater risk of developing the condition than others. Risk factors in adults include being a male smoker over the age of 60; risk factors in children include Hispanic origin and having a brother or sister with leukemia, especially a twin. However, just because risk factors are present, this does not automatically mean a person will get leukemia.
Once an AML diagnosis has been made and the stage of the disease determined, a treatment plan will be formulated. Options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation. The prognosis for this type of leukemia will depend on many things, such as the person's age and general health, as well as whether the disease has spread to the central nervous system.
(Click AML to learn more about this type of leukemia, including how it is diagnosed, the various stages and what they mean, and possible signs and symptoms.)