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Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer. It usually begins in cells that would turn into white blood cells. Sometimes, though, AML can start in other types of blood-forming cells.

Although there’s no cure, there are treatments that can make a big difference.

What Happens

Acute myeloid leukemia starts in the bone marrow. This is the soft inner parts of bones.

With acute types of leukemia such as AML, bone marrow cells don’t mature the way they’re supposed to. These immature cells, often called blast cells, keep building up.

You may hear other names for acute myeloid leukemia. Doctors may call it:

Acute myelocytic leukemia
Acute myelogenous leukemia
Acute granulocytic leukemia
Acute non-lymphocytic leukemia

Without treatment, AML can quickly be life-threatening. Because it’s “acute,” this type of leukemia can spread quickly to the blood and to other parts of the body, such as the:
Lymph nodes
Liver
Spleen
Brain and spinal cord
Testicles

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Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer. It usually begins in cells that would turn into white blood cells. Sometimes, though, AML can start in other types of blood-forming cells. Although there’s no cure, there are treatments that can make a big difference. What Happens Acute myeloid leukemia starts...