Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is a rare blood cancer.

Test tube and pipette in hands - leukaemia research

What is AML?

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is a rare cancer of the blood that develops when the bone marrow produces underdeveloped white blood cells – myeloid cells – though, occasionally AML can be caused by the production of underdeveloped red blood cells or platelets*. The underdeveloped cells populate the bone marrow and there is then no space for the marrow to create healthy, normal blood cells. AML begins in the bone marrow but quickly moves into the blood stream.

Because it is acute, AML is quick to develop and requires immediate treatment. While AML is a rare blood cancer, around 2,600 people are diagnosed each year in the UK. Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is a cancer that generally affects older people over the age of 65.

What are the symptoms of AML?

The symptoms of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Tiredness and general weakness
  • Persistent infections
  • Easily bruising and bleeding.

AML treatments

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is often treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and potentially with a stem cell transplant.