ACUTE MYELOID LEUKAEMIA (AML)
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is one of the quickest-forming blood cell cancers with a rapid progression. This condition leads to an increase in the number of immature cells interfering with the production of normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
If left untreated, AML can be life-threatening and spread to other parts of the body (spleen, liver, lymph nodes, testicles, brain and spinal cord). It is the most common type of leukaemia in adults.
AML is caused by mutations in DNA, but the cause of the mutation is unknown. The risk factors are older age, being male, a previous blood disorder, family history, smoking, some chemotherapy drugs, radiation exposure, exposure to chemicals and some genetic syndromes (Down’s syndrome, Trisomy 8, Li-Fraumeni syndrome).
Stages of AML are untreated, in remission, refractory or recurrent.
Symptoms of AML are fatigue, fever, paleness, weight loss, loss of appetite, headache, swollen gums, unusual bleeding/bruising, more infections than usual and abdominal pain due to swollen liver/spleen.
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is diagnosed through Blood tests (Full Blood Count with Differential, clotting profiles), Imaging tests (MRI, CT scan, X-ray, Ultrasound), Bone marrow biopsy, tumour biopsy, immunophenotyping, cytogenic analysis, lumbar puncture/ spinal tap and PCR genetic test.
Various means of treating AML are Targeted therapies, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy and Stem cell transplant. Acute Myeloid Leukaemia can not be prevented due to its genetic cause. Meanwhile, some of the risk factors can be reduced.
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