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Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a fast-growing type of blood cancer that affects myeloid blood cells.

Derek, in remission from blood cancer, walking his dog

AML at a glance

AML happens when your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, platelets and certain types of white blood cells called myeloid blood cells.

Around 3,000 people are diagnosed with AML each year and it’s more common in people over 60. Children can also get AML. We have separate information about childhood AML for parents of children under 19.

Read more about AML in adults

We don’t know exactly what causes AML, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • age
  • sex
  • family history
  • radiation and chemical exposure

Find out more about possible causes of AML

People with AML may experience tiredness, bruising, bleeding and swollen lymph glands.

More about symptoms and diagnosis of AML

Treatment depends on your age, medical fitness and the specific type of AML you have.

Chemotherapy is the main form of treatment. Some people might have a stem cell transplant.

Learn more about treating AML and possible side effects

Your prognosis (outlook) depend on individual factors such as your age and fitness. The type of AML you have can also be important.

More about the prognosis for AML

Although it is rare, children can develop acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). In the UK, around 100 children a year are diagnosed with the condition.

Read more about AML in children

Visit Blood Cancer Uncovered to find out how other people your age have coped with a blood cancer diagnosis.

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Living well

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