Friday, April 21, 2017

World AML Awareness Day 04/21/2017

Metamora Herald AML AWARENESS

     Friday, April 21st, 2017 is World AML Awareness Day. AML or Acute Myelogenous (Myeloid or Myelocytic) Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. In this disease, the blood cells produced become abnormal “leukemic cells” and accumulate in the bone marrow and blood, and they spread to other organs. The progression of this disease is quick and can end in death if not treated. Symptoms of this disease include easy bruising, weakness, fevers, infections, pale skin, and shortness of breath. AML is usually brought on by another illness like a patient who has had a blood disease or cancer treatments, but that is not always the case.

     Each year, an estimated 21,380 people in the U.S.A. will be diagnosed with AML, and 500 of those will be children. Although, it is rare to see this disease before the age of 45 in most circumstances. An estimated 10,500 will die from AML each year, but it is treatable and curable if detected soon enough, the age of a person, and what type of AML the patient has.  Doctors and researchers are not quite sure what causes cancers in children, including AML. As I stated above, this disease is usually caused when there is an increased risk factor.(this statistic is from American Cancer Society and the statics are based on a five-year period. Which means the statistics and estimations can change, but we won’t know for five years.)

An example of increased risk factor, children with down syndrome from birth to four year's of age, and children with bone marrow disorders. In general, this disease affects children under the age of two or teenagers. However, as of now, out of 100 kids with AML 64% will survive, and 27% of adults with AML will survive. This is why early detection and treatment are crucial to the survival of patients. A complete blood count and bone marrow sample will be needed. Once the diagnosis has been made, further testing will be done to specify the type of AML. There are specific treatments for specific types of AML and they should begin immediately.

The KNOW AML is the World’s first global AML awareness coalition supporting AML World Awareness Day April 21st, 2017. In December 2016, during the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting, a collective of AML patient Leaders, professional and industry representatives gathered to agree on how to mark AML World Awareness Day in 2017. The Fight AML campaign aims to improve education and support in order to empower the AML community in its fight against AML and it is the first of many Know AML awareness and education activities. (Quoted from KNOW AML website)

Wear red and black to show your support today and talk with friends and family about AML. Thank you.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2016, and from the ACS website

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