Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
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Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood that affects immature white blood cells and inhibits them from maturing into other types of blood cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The leukemia cells then are released and distributed to other organs where they continue to grow and divide. This form of cancer is most common in adults.
The white blood cells in the bone marrow are known as myeloid cells, and these cells are extremely important to the human body. Acute myelogenous leukemia is a disease that aggressively attacks them and turns them into cancerous cells. The leukemic white blood cells are called myeloblasts which do not function normally and when they build up they crowd out healthy cells.
Typical symptoms of AML may seem a lot like the flu or other common aliments in its early stages. For example, fever, weight loss, fatigue, and pale skin are all general signs. In addition, one might bruise easily, have shortness of breath, or have unusual bleeding, especially in the nose and gums. If you feel that your symptoms are abnormal, contact a doctor immediately for further diagnoses.
There are a number of different causes for acute myelogenous leukemia and all of them are common carcinogenic substances. One such carcinogen is the substance known as benzene. Benzene is easily recognizable because of the very sweet aroma it gives off. Benzene exposure usually either occurs when it is inhaled or ingested. It is found in common products such as detergents, dyes, furniture cleaners, gasoline, plastics, cigarettes, and many more. Chronic exposure to high levels can lead to cancer, and has been directly linked to AML. A prognosis typically includes a bone marrow biopsy that distinguishes AML from other kinds of leukemia.
Oftentimes, people are exposed in the workplace. Careers that involve transportation, boiling solvents, gasoline distribution, mechanics, shoe makers, firefighters, pipe fitters, steel workers, and other similar tasks may be at further risk than most others. It is estimated that over 200,000 people have been occupationally exposed to benzene. A typical day at work – efforts to support your family – should not place your life in danger. If you have been exposed to benzene in the workplace for an extended period of time, be sure to check out your health with a doctor, and check out your rights with an attorney.
There are three basic stages of treatment for AML: remission induction, consolidation therapy, and maintenance therapy. Whereas there are many factors to consider before selecting the best possible treatment, the most common are chemotherapy, drug therapy, biological therapy, and bone marrow stem cell transplant. Obviously the goal is wipe out all leukemia cells in hope of eliminating the chance of relapse.
Protect Your Rights
Once the exposure has happened, there is, unfortunately, no way to reverse the damage that has been done. However, if you believe that you have been wrongfully exposed, or the exposure was a result of neglect, then contacting a lawyer immediately may be your best course of action. The terrifying news of cancer is stressful enough; further economic burdens placed on your family may be more harmful. You may be entitled to a settlement that can help pay your medical bills and ease your worries for your loved ones. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legalities of your state and work hard to protect your rights.