Also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia is a fast growing-form of blood cancer. Overproduction of immature white blood cells known as leukemic blasts is the hallmark of this disease. These abnormal white blood cells prevent bone marrow from making healthy blood cells. If not properly treated on time, these immature cells may spread quickly in the entire body of patients & weaken their immune system. Smoking & exposure to certain chemicals are the major risk factors associated with this disease. AML accounts for approximately 0.9% of all cancers diagnosed.
Different Stages of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Severity of acute myeloid leukemia is one of the most significant factors in deciding treatment options. Three major stages of acute myeloid leukemia are classified as follows.
- Untreated Adult AML – This is the primary stage of disease where symptoms like mild bleeding, fever & sharp pain can be observed in patients. These symptoms can be easily confused with other diseases. Hence, a precise diagnosis is crucial.
- Adult AML in Remission – When AML is diagnosed & accurately treated, blood count of patients becomes normal. However, it is quite possible that AML may recur in future.
- Recurrent Adult AML – This is the stage where AML cancer recurs in bone marrow of the patients even after definite treatment.
Treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia can be treated in the following two phases.
- Remission Induction Therapy – This is the primary phase of acute myeloid leukemia treatment which aims at destroying the immature white blood cells.
- Post-Remission Therapy – This is the second treatment phase of AML where surgeons aim to destroy the remaining leukemia cells so as to stop them from recurring again.
Most common acute myeloid leukemia treatment methods include surgery, radiation therapy & chemotherapy. Surgeons will choose suitable treatment plan based on patient’s health condition & requirement.