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Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Acute Myeloid Leukemia starts in the bone marrow but quickly advances into the blood. Its development can spread to the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain, spinal cord, and testicles. AML occurs when genetic mutations occur in bone marrow DNA. Instead of growing and dying at a set rate, the cell grows and divides uncontrollably. This type of uncontrolled blood cell production produces immature cells that develop into leukemia blood cells such as myeloblasts. Myeloblasts are unable to function properly and build up to crowd out healthy cells. Some symptoms of AML include bone pain, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, and pale skin. Some factors that may increase the risk of a patient developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia are previous cancer treatments including chemotherapy or radiation, exposure to dangerous chemicals such as benzene found in cigarettes, smoking, blood disorders such as myelodysplasia and myelofibrosis, as well as genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome. At the same time, AML is most common in adults 65 years old or older and more common in men than women.


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