Leukaemia symptoms - what is the aggressive blood cancer acute myeloid leukaemia?

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a cancer of the white blood cells, according to the NHS.

The cancer is very aggressive and usually requires immediate treatment.

The condition is caused by stem cells producing too many young white blood cells.

The white blood cells aren’t developed enough to fight infections, and leads to a decrease in red blood cells.

“It's not clear exactly why this happens and, in most cases, there's no identifiable cause,” said the NHS.

“However, a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing acute myeloid leukaemia have been identified.”

You’re more likely to develop the condition if you’ve had chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

If you’ve been exposed to high levels of radiation, or the chemical benzene, you could be at risk.

“The symptoms of AML usually develop over a few weeks and become increasingly more severe.

“See your GP if you or your child have the symptoms.

“Although it's highly unlikely that AML is the cause, these symptoms need to be investigated and treated promptly.”

Pale skin, fatigue, breathlessness and a fever are all signs of the blood cancer.

Other symptoms include weight loss, frequent infections, easily-bruised skin and joint pain.

“In rare cases of AML, the affected cells can spread into the central nervous system,” said the NHS.

“This can cause symptoms such as headaches, fits (seizures), vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness.”

About 2,600 people are diagnosed with AML every year in the UK.

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