Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a type of cancer that affects immature blood cells on the myeloid line. AML causes an overproduction of abnormal blast cells (immature white cells) which crowd bone marrow and prevent it from making normal blood cells. Because the bone marrow cannot function properly, it cannot produce adequate numbers of red cells, normal white cells and platelets.
This makes people with AML more susceptible to anaemia, recurrent infections, bruising and bleeding easily. The abnormal blast cells (leukaemic blasts) eventually spill out into the blood stream and can accumulate in various organs including the spleen and liver.