Acute myeloid leukemia , or AML, is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. AML is the second most common leukemia type in adults. The word myeloid, or myelogenous, refers to the cell type it affects. Myeloid cells are precursors to other blood cells. Usually these cells go on to develop into red blood cells RBCs , platelets, and special types of white blood cells WBCs.
Acute myelogenous leukemia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. There are many kinds of cancer. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer. To learn more about cancer and how it starts and grows, see What Is Cancer? Leukemias are cancers that start in cells that would normally develop into different types of blood cells. Most often, leukemia starts in early forms of white blood cells, but some leukemias start in other blood cell types.
Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, however, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work.
The DNA genetic material of a developing stem cell in the bone marrow is damaged. This damaged cell becomes a leukemic cell and multiplies into billions of cells called leukemic blasts. As a result, the number of healthy blood cells red cells, white cells and platelets is usually lower than normal. There is no known cause for most cases of AML.