What is Acute Myelogenous Leukemia?

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Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML, is a fast-growing cancer that starts in the bone marrow or other blood-forming tissue and spreads into the bloodstream. It is the most common type of leukemia.

What is Acute Myelogenous Leukemia?

AML is a type of cancer in which immature stem cells that normally mature into normal red or white blood cells or platelets, instead develop into a type of abnormal white blood cell that reproduces rapidly and crowds out the desirable blood cells. While most AML patients are adults, with an average patient age over 65, AML is also one of the most common cancers in infants and toddlers.  According to the American Cancer Society, 13,290 new cases are expected in 2008.

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  • In adults, AML has been linked to exposure to the chemical benzene. Many Web sites you encounter in search engines profess to provide credible medical information but are sponsored by law firms interested only in finding clients. The Web sites included in this guide are all sponsored by respected health care organizations.

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AML Diagnosis and Treatment

Acute myelogenous leukemia is treated in a number of ways, and adults are treated differently than children. Investigators are also pursuing a number of new, experimental approaches. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, “The number of patients with AML who enter remission, stay in remission for years or are cured has increased significantly over the past 30 years.”  

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Support for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

A cancer diagnosis, while devastating, should not be isolating. Thousands of people are diagnosed with leukemia each year. Many have chronicled their stories in blogs on the Web, or shared their experiences in forums.

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  • Few blogs or forums are devoted solely to acute myelogenous leukemia, but there are many sites that discuss leukemia generally that can be good sources of support. Start with the support resources included in the findingDulcinea Leukemia Web Guide.

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