Leukemia, acute myelogenous

Other names: Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)

DEFINITION

Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, characterized by the rapid progression of abnormal white blood cells known as myeloblasts. These cells fail to mature into normal blood cells, leading to a buildup that interferes with the production of healthy blood cells.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

AML is primarily caused by DNA mutations in the bone marrow cells responsible for blood cell production. While the exact cause of these mutations is often unknown, factors such as radiation exposure, certain chemicals, and previous cancer treatments can increase the risk of developing AML.

RISK FACTORS

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Before your appointment:

Questions to ask your doctor: 1. What is causing my symptoms? 2. What tests do I need? 3. Is this condition temporary or chronic? 4. What treatment options are available? 5. Are there alternative approaches? 6. How can I manage other health conditions along with AML? 7. Should I see a specialist? 8. Do I need a second opinion? 9. Are there generic alternatives to prescribed medications? 10. What are reliable sources for more information?

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Diagnostic tests may include blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and lumbar puncture to confirm AML and determine its subtype for tailored treatment strategies.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Treatment involves remission induction therapy to kill leukemia cells and consolidation therapy to prevent relapse. Options include chemotherapy, targeted drugs, stem cell transplant, and participation in clinical trials.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

While no alternative treatments cure AML, complementary therapies like acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, meditation, and relaxation exercises may help manage symptoms.

COPING AND SUPPORT

Tips for coping with AML diagnosis: 1. Educate yourself about your specific type of leukemia. 2. Seek support from loved ones. 3. Prioritize self-care activities alongside medical treatments.


QUESTIONS

  1. What is acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)?

AML is a cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow characterized by rapid progression of abnormal white blood cells.

  1. What are common symptoms of AML?

Symptoms include fever, bone pain, fatigue, easy bruising, and frequent infections.

  1. What are some risk factors for developing AML?

Risk factors include increasing age, previous cancer treatment, exposure to radiation or chemicals like benzene, smoking, genetic disorders like Down syndrome.

  1. How can one prepare for a doctor's appointment regarding AML symptoms?

By noting down symptoms, medications taken, major life changes/stresses, and preparing questions for the doctor.

  1. What diagnostic tests are used to confirm AML?

Blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and lumbar puncture may be performed for diagnosis.

  1. How is AML treated?

Treatment includes remission induction therapy (chemotherapy), consolidation therapy (stem cell transplant), targeted drugs, and participation in clinical trials.

  1. Are there alternative treatments for AML?

While no alternative treatments cure AML, complementary therapies like acupuncture and meditation may help manage symptoms.

  1. How can individuals cope with an AML diagnosis?

By educating themselves about their specific type of leukemia, seeking support from loved ones, and prioritizing self-care activities alongside medical treatments.

  1. What questions should one ask their doctor about AML treatment?

Questions can include inquiries about the causes of symptoms, test requirements, potential treatment plans/options available based on individual conditions.

  1. How important is determining the subtype of AML for treatment decisions?

Determining the subtype helps tailor treatment strategies based on individual characteristics of the disease which may affect response rates to different therapies.