ACUTE MYELOID LEUKEMIA - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms, Etc.


Acute myeloid leukemia is also known as cancer of the blood and bone marrow in which the spongy tissue inside of the bones produces red blood cells for the body.

Acute myelogenous leukemia affects the white blood cells known as myeloid cells, where different types of mature blood cells develop like white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

The word “acute” referred to in acute myelogenous leukemia indicates the rapid progression of the disease. As time passes by, there are a lot of terms used to address  acute myelogenous leukemia like the following:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Acute granulocytic leukemia
  • Acute myeloblastic leukemia
  • Acute nonlymphocytic leukemia


Symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia will appear similar to flu or some other common diseases. It may also differ based on the types of blood cells that are affected.

General signs and symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia include:

  • Fever
  • Bone pain
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Frequent infections
  • Easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding from the gums


Other common types of leg ulcer include:

  • Arterial leg ulcers
  • Diabetic leg ulcers
  • Malignant leg ulcers
  • Traumatic leg ulcers
  • Vasculitic leg ulcers

Ulcers in the foot are usually caused by diabetes.



Itching, pain, and swelling in the affected leg are characteristic symptoms of a venous leg ulcer.

Discoloration, hardening of the skin around the ulcer, and presence of a foul-smelling discharge may also be present when you have a venous leg ulcer.

If you have a venous leg ulcer, you may exhibit the following conditions:

  • discoloration and darkening of the skin around the ulcer
  • swollen ankles
  • red, flaky, scaly and itchy skin on your legs
  • swollen and enlarged veins on your legs
  • hardened skin around the ulcer, which may make your leg feel hard
  • a heavy feeling in your legs
  • an unpleasant and foul-smelling discharge from the ulcer
  • aching or swelling in your legs


Signs of an infection

Opportunistic pathogens could cause secondary bacterial infections due to the ulcer. 

Symptoms of an infected leg ulcer may include:

  • a green or unpleasant discharge coming from the ulcer
  • fever
  • redness and swelling of the skin around the ulcer
  • worsening pain
  • an unpleasant smell coming from the ulcer


If your body shows signs or symptoms of acute myelogenous leukemia, your doctor may recommend that you will undergo diagnostic tests, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Bone marrow test
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
  • Genomic testing

If your doctor has diagnosed that you have leukemia, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood cancer like a hematologist or medical oncologist for treatment.



In treating acute myelogenous leukemia, options may vary on several factors, regardless of the type of the illness, age, overall health condition, and preferences as well.

Treatments are divided into two phases:

  • Remission induction therapythe main reason for the first phase of treatment is to kill those malignant cells in both the blood and bone marrow. Although remission induction usually doesn’t remove all of the cancer cells, it is advised that you undergo further treatment to prevent the disease from coming back.
  • Consolidation therapyalso known as post-remission therapy, maintenance therapy or intensification. In this phase of treatment, its main target is to kill the remaining cancer It is considered critical treatment because it decreases the risk of an individual from suffering.

Therapies used in treating the early stages of acute myeloid leukemia will include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Other drug therapy
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Clinical trials

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