How to treat acute myleoid leukemia

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with acute myleoid leukemia, don’t despair – as lethal of a disease as it is, it’s still treatable in the majority of the cases. Even older people – those affected by AML most often and most aggressively – stand a reasonable chance of being cured so long as their bodies can handle the intensity of the required treatment.

Treatment of AML is multi-layered and fairly prolonged – the patient will have to undergo extensive chemotherapy in conjuction with other methods of subduing this disease.

An overview of the standard treatment

Like with other forms of cancer, the go-to method of fighting acute myleoid leukemia is chemotherapy. Treatment starts essentially right after AML has been diagnosed and consists mainly of inductive chemotherapy that’s meant to greatly reduce the presence of visible leukemic cells.

While highly effective, IV chemotherapy is difficult to handle for those past their physical prime – in cases of older AML sufferers, other forms of treatment replace induction, although they generally yield lesser results.

The patient is closely monitored during chemotherapy to see how the body handles the treatments – if all goes well, initial treatment should last no longer than two weeks before ridding the body of every last leukemic cell.

Afterwards, the patient moves onto the next stage of the treatment called ‘consolidation’ whose purpose is to eliminate the chance of AML relapsing – while leukemic cells are no longer visible after induction treatment, they will still be present and are almost guaranteed to replicate in the absence of post-remission treatment.

Consolidation treatment usually lasts for several weeks and is no less intensive than induction – in cases of elderly patients or those with compromised health, doctors might choose to apply a full induction course but compromise on consolidation treatment in some way to avoid stressing the patient too much.

After consolidation, it is presumed that the leukemic cells are gone from good, although the possibility of a relapse is still very much present. Therefore, patients who are done with standard treatment might need to be monitored for the rest of their lives due to the possibility of the illness coming back.

Other treatments available

While chemotherapy is the most common method of treatment (and one with the most success), other methods are available when the patient is unable or unwilling to undergo chemotherapy or when the disease has relapsed.

One such treatment comes in the form of stem cell replacement – this type of treatment replaces consolidation for patients with a high chance of relapse. While effective, an appropriate donor needs to be available in order to provide the necessary stem cells for transplantation.

Other treatments include immunotherapy through a combination of anti-leukemic medication and arsenic trioxide in cases of a specific AML subtype called promyelocytic leukemia. Patients who have had little success with standard methods of treatment might choose to undergo clinical trials for new and experimental drugs, although there is rarely any prognosis available here – certain patients might also be eligible to skip standard treatment altogether if an optimistic trial becomes available.


Leukemia fundraising in New Braunfels

Part of what makes New Braunfels such a great place to live in is the sense of community: the residents are surprisingly friendly and close to one another for such a popular tourist town.

This also makes New Braunfels ideal for hosting a leukemia fundraiser: not only should you have no issue finding enough people to join the cause, but you’ll also enjoy an opportunity to educate visitors from all over the world about this terrible disease and what they can do to help.

Hosting the ideal fundraiser

Participating in a fundraiser is commendable already, but those feeling particularly charitable can host their own event and act as the driving force behind an awareness-spreading gathering to remember.

While you can throw all sorts of fundraisers in collaboration with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the easiest and quickest might be to enrich your local community with a Light The Night Walk.

Anyone who’s ever been to one of these walks can tell you they’re unique events that never stray from their intended purpose, which is spreading information and gathering funds for research and treatment for those who need it most.

By hosting a Light The Night Walk in New Braunfels, you’ll be at the helm of a community-intensive event that will bring together residents and tourists alike, uniting them against leukemia and giving them a way to share their experiences with the disease.

There’s not a lot of procedure to worry about when looking to host one of these events – simply contact the LLS and tell them you’d like to help. They’ll give you detailed instructions on how to host the Walk and provide you with all the necessary paraphernalia to make the event truly stand out.

As opposed to some other fundraisers, the point of the walk isn’t to get people to part with as much of their money as possible – instead, the focus is on bringing everyone together and letting the nation as a whole know that leukemia is a very real problem that can affect anyone.


If you’d like your fundraiser to have some extra puff, consider getting one or more companies or individuals to sponsor the event. This sounds harder than it really is – in reality, you should have an easy-enough time finding businesses wanting to get some recognition as a charitable force in their area.

Sponsors can help with various logistics related to the event – for example, a clothing manufacturer could help outfit every attendee of a Light The Night Walk with a symbolic piece of attire that will let every individual march as a whole. Sponsors can also help you reach your desired fundraising goal – while LLS doesn’t focus too much on their satellite fundraisers gathering heaps of money, every extra bill will likely be of great help to the cause.

In the end, no matter the type of leukemia fundraiser you throw, remember that it’s not about how much money the event gathers – instead, the point is to offer your support to all individuals suffering from leukemia be they from New Braunfels or any other part of the U.S.

Fundraising for leukemia

When talking fundraising, there aren’t many causes worthier to raise money for than helping someone battle leukemia. This deadly disease can strike anyone at any time, and the medical expenses can quickly rack up and drive a person into debt even when the treatment was successful.

Getting involved

Perhaps the best (not to say “easiest”) way to raise funds for the battle against leukemia is to contact a charity such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and tell them you’d like to help – they’ll hook you up with the nearest team that will jump start your campaign. In San Antonio, we have some great sponsors, including several local businesses.

In general, the best way to raise funds is to throw a local event and ensure that plenty of people show up – aside from raising awareness, each of them can contribute an amount in accordance with their means, which quickly adds up to a hefty sum that the charity will put to good use.

Another important part of throwing a successful leukemia fundraiser is attracting sponsors. In exchange for displaying their logo during the event, these sponsors can help fund various aspects of the event, be it location, amenities or simply contributing to the donation box. If you have your own business, this is a great way to gain exposure – sponsoring a leukemia fundraiser is sure to let people know you’re a positive force in the community.

For best results, your fundraiser should combine entertainment with education: the attendees should feel as if they’re part of an exclusive event while at the same time getting informed on leukemia and the ways to help fight it.

How much your event raises depends on community response more than anything else, which in turn depends on your ability to attract people to your cause – the more influential community members you know, the easier time you’ll have filling up the seats and attracting the kind of individuals that will let you breeze past the minimum funding goal.

What to do after the event is over

Once the funds have been raised, you’ll have to turn them over to the LLS who will then distribute the money at their discretion. After covering the costs of their employees and various fundraiser-related items, they’ll forward the remaining amount to the appropriate recipients – this can be anyone from families in need of assistance with their health costs to leukemia research centers that will use the money to create more effective methods of treatment.

If you have specific ideas as to whom the money raised should go to, talk to the charity you’re working with before throwing the fundraiser – in fact, if you’re very specific about the proceeds, you can make the entire event serve a certain purpose as opposed to providing general assistance in the battle against leukemia.

No matter the amount of money collected and to whom it goes, you can expect it will be put to good use – there’s never any shortage of people who can make great use of additional funding against leukemia, be it on a personal or professional level.

What is acute myleoid leukemia

Acute myleoid leukemia isn’t the most widespread disease out there, which often lowers awareness and delays accurate prognosis – since only around 1% of U.S. cancer patients suffer from this particular type of leukemia, few are quick to suspect it and many aren’t even aware of its existence.

Yet a relatively-low occurrence rate doesn’t make this disease any less fatal: it’s extremely deadly on its own and made even more so by the fact that it frequently targets senior citizens.

Understanding acute myleoid leukemia

Part of what makes AML difficult to diagnose early on is a lack of clear-cut symptoms. Whereas many forms of cancer cause noticeable growth under the skin in the form of small lumps and certain cases of leukemia are accompanied by distinct ailments, AML attacks a person’s body through stealth.

Early signs of AML are vague and might not even be noticeable, especially if the person is older or a chronic sufferer of some other illness. These include general fatigue, sudden shortness of breath, anemia, weakness, vulnerability to infection and similar issues. When the disease progresses slightly, the person will begin to lose appetite and often suffer from fever and vomiting – again, these symptoms are often confused with other diseases that are far less severe, like the flu.

Acute myleoid leukemia works by attacking a person’s blood cells, rendering them leukemic and unable to perform their duties.

  • White blood cells form the body’s immune system and shield the person from infections. Once afflicted by AML, these cells become far less effective which makes the person contract various infections. In layman’s terms, red blood cells provide vitality: after RBCs turn leukemic, a person will suffer chronic fatigue and take on a sickly appearance as well as being much more prone to bruising and bleeding due to the skin’s impaired ability to repair itself.

As already mentioned, AML can be difficult to diagnose without proper blood work – in the absence of appropriate health care, most people won’t know that they’re suffering from this type of leukemia until it’s too late. Elderly citizens are sometimes led to believe that their symptoms are the result of “something milder” and that they should simply take it easy until they feel better.

While notorious for attacking the elderly, AML can happen to anyone during any stage of their life. Therefore, even the mildest manifestation of AML-related symptoms that lingers for more than a couple of days should always be followed by a complete blood test – this will point out any abnormalities related to the blood cell count and allow medical personnel to proceed accordingly.

Like with any form of leukemia or cancer, early diagnosis is absolutely paramount to maximizing the chances of a successful recovery. Unfortunately, the prognosis for AML is rarely optimistic – while younger and middle-aged people have close to 50-50 chances of being cured, senior citizens are faced with a mortality rate exceeding 80%, partially because of their inability to receive the kind of aggressive chemotherapy required to instigate a remission of leukemic cells.