Treatment for Leukemia

Treatment for leukemia depends on the type of leukemia a person has. It also depends on whether the patient has been treated for leukemia before. Learn more about treating leukemia ›

How Does My Doctor Know I Have Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)?

Your doctor will perform the following tests to help confirm the type of leukemia you have and what your prognosis is. A prognosis is a statement about the prospect of surviving and recovering from a disease. Your doctor may also do these tests after treatment to check its success.

A doctor does this test on bones of your hips or your sternum, which is your chest bone. Before making a small cut, the doctor numbs the area with a local anesthetic, which you usually get as an injection.  Then the doctor inserts a needle to remove a small amount of liquid marrow from the back of your hipbone or sternum. You may need to have this done on both hips. Next, the doctor uses a larger needle to remove a solid piece of bone and marrow. Even with anesthesia, you may feel uncomfortable as the doctor removes the marrow and bone. But the entire procedure usually doesn't last more than 45 minutes.

Learn more about Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Test Your Leukemia Knowledge

Did you know that leukemia is divided into two distinct types?

What Happens During a Stem Cell Transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Stem cell transplants may be autologous, which means the stem cells come from your own body. They may also be allogenic, which means the stem cells come from a donor. Doctors do an autologous transplant when it's hard to find an exact match from a donor. It may cause fewer side effects, but there is also concern that the stem cells from your own body could be contaminated with leukemia cells, even after treatment in a lab. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It's best to wait for an induced remission and for the chemotherapy side effects to wear off before proceeding. Here's a description of how doctors do a stem cell transplant.

Learn more about Stem Cell Transplants

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