Some Information on Acute
•In the United States, acute promyelocytic leukemia affects approximately one out
of every 250,000 people. The disease is a type of bone marrow cancer affecting
the hematopoietic stem cells, which create platelets, white blood cells, and red
blood cells. The three types of cells play important roles in the body, ranging from
carrying oxygen and fighting disease to helping blood clot. Acute promyelocytic
leukemia causes too many undeveloped white blood cells to accumulate in bone
marrow, eventually creating a shortage of other blood cells in the body.
•Symptoms of the disease often result from decreased clotting ability caused by
lack of platelets and substances released by cancerous cells. A person with acute
promyelocytic leukemia may suffer from easy bruising and excessive nosebleeds
or menstrual bleeding. He or she may also develop petechiae, small red dots
beneath the skin, or show signs of anemia, like excessive tiredness and pale skin.
The disease has been linked to changes in two genes but is not inherited.