1. What do the statistics on LMA indicate?
Acute myeloid leukemia is a disease that affects older people and is uncommon in people younger than 45 years. The average age of a patient with AML is about 67 years.
AML is slightly more common in men than in women, but the average lifetime risk in both sexes is less than half of 1%.
2. What are the risk factors in AML?
There are many factors associated with AML:
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Certain chemotherapy drugs
- Radiation exposure
- Certain blood disorders
- Genetic syndromes
Some syndromes that are present at birth caused by genetic mutations (abnormal changes) appear to increase the risk of AML. These include:
- Fanconi Anemia
- Bloom Syndrome
- Anemia Diamond – Blackfan
- Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome
- Neurofibromatosis type 1
- Severe congenital neutropenia (also called Kostmann syndrome).
Some problems with chromosomes that are present at birth are also associated with an increased risk of AML, including:
- Down syndrome (born with an extra copy of chromosome 21)
- Trisomy 8 (born with an extra copy of chromosome 8)
- Family history
- Although it is not believed that most cases of AML have a strong genetic link, having a close relative (father, mother, brother or sister) with AML increases your risk of developing the disease
- A person who has an identical twin who suffered from AML before the age of one year presents a very high risk of developing AML also
- An elderly
- AML can occur at any age, but it more commonly occurs as people age
- Male sex
- Uncertain risk, unproven or controversial
- Other factors that have been studied to try to determine if they have a possible link to AML include:
• Exposure to electromagnetic fields (such as living near power lines)
• Occupational exposure to diesel, gasoline and certain other chemicals and solvents
• Exposure to herbicides or pesticides
3. What are the treatments for AML?
- Stem cell transplant
- Treatments for targeted therapies are being evaluated in clinical trials