About Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Acute myeloid leukemia (also called acute myelogenous leukemia or AML) in children is a cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow and spreads to the bloodstream. It is more common in adults, but each year approximately 730 new cases of AML are diagnosed in children (age 0-19) in the United States.
Leukemia begins in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue located inside the bones, where blood cells are made. Leukemia starts when a single, young white blood cell, called a “blast” develops a series of mutations that allow it to multiply uncontrollably. Eventually, the blasts accumulate and crowd out normal cells in the bone marrow. They can also spill out into the bloodstream, and invade the lymph nodes, brain, skin, liver, kidney, ovaries, testes, and other organs. Occasionally they form a solid tumor called a “chloroma.”