AML And Cigarettes

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The hazards of smoking cigarettes are widely known in today's society. However, there are still millions of people who continue to take the risks involved with the chemicals in cigarettes. Unfortunately, most people are ignorant to the reality that they might be in direct danger. In the specific case of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) distinctive links have been made with the chemical benzene and cigarette smoking. AML is a form of cancer that causes a rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow, which in turn inhibits the growth of normal blood cells. Also, some blood cells never mature and differentiate to work productively for the body. Overall, it is an aggressive leukemia that is mostly found in adults with a low survival rate. With warning labels affixed to each pack of cigarettes, hopefully more information about AML will encourage smokers to quit.

Myeloid cells are white blood cells that inhabit the bone marrow of the body and are responsible for a number of different essential functions within the body. When these cells become infected and cancerous, the effects are not only disastrous but usually run their course very quickly, especially when the disease is in its aggressive and acute form. It is one of the worst kinds of leukemia to have because not only is it very difficult to treat, but it is also very difficult to keep the patient comfortable.

The Connection
Benzene is a colorless and sweet smelling chemical found in everything from gasoline, to industrial solvents to cigarettes. It is also an established leukemogen. AML is the most common form of leukemia diagnosed in adults. Unsurprisingly, cigarette smoking is common cause of the disease. In general, cigarettes release between 50 and 150 micrograms of benzene per cigarette, thus providing a link between smoking and even second-hand smoke and AML. Cigarette smoke accounts for approximately half of the benzene exposure in the United States. The average smoker consumes just under two milligrams of benzene every day, which is about 10 times the average daily intake of a nonsmoker.

The benzene itself is not present in the tobacco, but is produced during the burning process. Studies show that benzene is rapidly absorbed through the lungs during inhalation. Overall, approximately one half of the benzene is inhaled into the lungs, where it is then distributed to different parts of the body, including fatty tissue and bone marrow.

The Next Step
Cancer is not only physically debilitating, but it can also be mentally and emotionally taxing. The medical expenses alone can put enormous stress on you and your loved ones. Although the United States government places strict regulations on the levels of benzene used in consumer products, it is still one of the direct links to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The medical field is reaching new heights in fighting the battle against cancer everyday; however, the survival rate is low. If you or someone you love is facing leukemia that developed as a result of benzene exposure, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Do not leave your family a mountain of medical bills, in addition to the grief of dealing with cancer within the family. Take action, and contact a lawyer that has experience in benzene exposure.