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Acute Myeloid Leukemia Essay

1794 words - 8 pages

When a person is diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, they will have many good questions. A question such as; how does the disease work, or what is the science behind the condition? How dangerous is the disease? What different types of AML are there and how are they different? What treatment option will work the best? But perhaps one the most helpful questions of them all may be: “How challenging is this disease to cure?”
One of the easiest ways to measure the severity of a condition like Acute Myeloid Leukemia is to define it. A trusted website for disease information, Mayoclinic.org, defines AML as “A cancer of the blood and bone marrow (the spongy tissue inside bones where all of the body’s red blood cells are made.) The disease affects a group of white blood cells within the marrow called the myeloid cells, which normally develop into normal cell types, such as red, white, and platelet blood cells.” In short, AML takes over the body’s new cell production and produces cancerous cells instead of normal blood cells, flooding the body with mutated and deformed cells that are a hindrance to the body’s basic functioning. If left untreated or if treatment is not implemented at an early enough stage, Acute Myeloid Leukemia will eventually cause a large hit on a person’s immune system, organ failure, and death.
The statistics of the disease categorize AML as most common in adults over 65 but is not necessarily rare in any age younger than that. For example, leukemia in general accounts for the most cases of childhood cancer, and AML is the second most common type found in children. On a more positive note, the survival rate for children with AML is between 60-70%. AML is less common in adults because their immune system is the strongest during that period of life. Young adults and children within the typical lower age range of AML usually have yet to reach their full immune system strength and their bodies have a harder time defending against the condition. At age 65 the typical human body’s immune system has been on a natural decline for several years and is significantly more susceptible to many diseases making this age group a common place to find many cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
According to Cancer.net, a popular website written by doctors that contains the statistics of most major diseases and forms of cancer “In 2013 an estimated 18,860 males, and 7330 females in the United States were diagnosed with some form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.” The site also states “An estimated 10,500 deaths are expected to occur from AML this year.” The amount of deaths caused by this condition warrant it to be considered a very serious, life threatening disease.
Some of the common symptoms of AML include: Fatigue, general weakness, fevers, weight loss, bone pain, shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, bleeding gums, dizziness, chest pain, and skin nodules. A person may not notice these symptoms because they are common with other non-life threatening...

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