Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. With AML, the bone marrow makes abnormal blood cells including:

  • Myeloblasts—a type of white blood cell; white blood cells fight infection
  • Red blood cells (RBCs)—carry oxygen
  • Platelets—makes blood clot, stops bleeding in cuts or bruises

AML begins in immature myeloblasts and progresses very quickly. It may also be the end state of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

White Blood Cells
White Blood Cells
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Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant growths. These growths can invade nearby tissues. Cancer that has invaded nearby tissues can then spread to other parts of the body.

It is not clear exactly what causes these problems in the cells, but it is probably a combination of genetics and environment.