A life-threatening disorder that predominantly occurs in older adults. Many subtypes exist, of which acute promyelocytic leukaemia merits specific management. Characteristically, abnormal blasts are present in the peripheral blood and normal haematopoiesis is reduced. Definitive diagnosis requires bone marrow biopsy. Presence of blast cells in >20% of the bone marrow cells confirms the diagnosis. Cytogenetic abnormalities are prognostically important and affect patient management.
looking pale and feeling tired and breathless, which is due to anaemia caused by a lack of red blood cells, having more infections than usual, because of a lack of healthy white blood cells, unusual bleeding caused by too few platelets - this may include bruising (bruises may appear without any apparent injury), heavy periods in women, bleeding gums, nosebleeds and blood spots or rashes on the skin (petechiae)
Most people with AML are referred to a specialist haematology unit in the hospital. The haematologist will ask about your general health and any previous medical problems you’ve had. They’ll examine you to check if your lymph nodes, spleen or liver are enlarged. You’ll also have more blood samples taken to check the number of different cells in your blood and to look for leukaemia cells.