AML vs CML: Difference and Comparison

Cancer is a major disease that causes abnormal cell division in a certain part of the body and then uncontrollably spreads throughout the body. The main reason is the changes that occur in deoxyribonucleic acid.

These are the types of leukemia. It occurs when blood cells do not function properly, and as a result, it leads to the formation of malignant cells.

Key Takeaways

  1. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) progresses rapidly and requires immediate treatment, while chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) develops slowly and may not present symptoms for years.
  2. AML affects immature blood cells, whereas CML involves increased production of mature white blood cells.
  3. Treatment for AML includes aggressive chemotherapy, while CML is managed with targeted therapy and oral medications.


The difference between AML and CML is that AML grows fast because of abnormal cell formation in the bone marrow, which reduces the number of normal cells in the body. CML takes time to develop and grows slowly in the body, but when the CML cells start developing, it grows uncontrollably. They are the types of leukemia, but their effect on the body is different.


Adult acute myeloid leukemia(AML) is a kind of cancer that occurs in the bone marrow where there is overproduction and excessive growth of aberrant blood cells in the bone marrow.

There are various subtypes of AML, and it causes problems and affects various blood cells and platelets in the body.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia(CML) is an exceptional type of cancer with no noticeable symptoms from the initial stage.

It reacts with the spongy tissue inside bones, which leads to the production of blood cells. The word chronic indicates that chronic leukemia tends to develop and progress slowly than its acute type.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAMLCML
MeaningIt is a type of cancer with excessive growth of white blood cells in the body.It is rare cancer that gets initiated in the bone marrow to produce a large number of blood cells. 
CausesThe main cause is the stem cells being mutated induces the production of more white blood cells than is required.The main cause is the genetic alteration of various components in the bone marrow-produced stem cells.
SymptomsThis leads to pain in the bone, bony lumps that are not painful, and various infections.This leads to sweating at night, noticeable weight loss and sometimes it shows no symptoms at all.
PreventionIt can be prevented by quitting to smoke and avoiding various cancer-causing chemicals entering the body.As it is chronic leukemia, so there are no known lifestyle changes that could be made to prevent it.
TreatmentThe main treatment for this is the chemotherapy that is used to destroy the cancer cells.The BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase enzyme is targeted to suppress it along with different therapies.

What is AML?

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a malignancy affecting the blood.

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It initiates in the soft interior sections of the bones, called bone marrow, and then moves into the blood and other parts of the body, including the liver, lymph nodes, etc.

It is most commonly found in cells that transform into white blood cells, although it can also generate in other blood-forming cells.

AML develops as the bone marrow’s growing stem cell destroys its DNA.

The injured cells form into leukemic blood cells that spread rapidly throughout the body. It leads to a lesser number of healthy blood cells than normal in the human body.

There are many causes for leukemia to occur, while some are rare and unknown causes that cannot be identified at the early stages of the disease.

Smoking is a major risk factor for acute leukemia as cigarettes consist of benzene and cancer-causing chemicals. People suffering from this kind of cancer need to stay away from these to prevent themselves.

People who get exposed to radiation have a chance of developing AML in their bodies. It also happens with an increase in age and various blood disorders.

It shows similar symptoms to the flu, including weight loss, severe headache, and high fever. It also leads to fatigue and various infections.

acute myeloid leukemia

What is CML?

This type of leukemia occurs in adults, but rarely does it affect children. The treatment is the same for both adults and children.

CML takes place in the initial and immature versions of myeloid cells, combining different types of blood cells that undergo a genetic alteration.

It leads to a mutation that results in the formation of an aberrant gene which transforms a normal cell into a CML cell.

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Cell Multiplication occurs in the leukemic cells of the bone marrow, which eventually spreads into the bloodstream.

This type of cancer develops slowly, so it’s chronic, but it can quickly deteriorate into difficult-to-treat acute leukemia.

There is no such particular or specified reason to develop the disease. It mainly happens due to the destruction of deoxyribonucleic acid in the bone marrow cell.

The common risk factors are due to the increase in age in the body and exposure to various radiations and cancer-causing chemicals.

In general, it does not cause any such signs and symptoms as CML can be detected by examining a blood test.

But some of the common symptoms include pain in bones and ribs on the left side of the body, bleeding easily, loss of appetite, and sweating at night.

chronic myeloid leukemia

Main Differences Between AML and CML

  1. AML causes aberrant cells to form in the bone marrow, whereas CML causes an overabundance of myeloid cells, which restricts the formation of healthy cells.
  2. AML stands for acute myeloid leukemia, while CML stands for chronic myeloid leukemia.
  3. AML develops fast and abruptly and spreads throughout the body, but CML is a slow-moving malignancy.
  4. AML does not have any identified stages, while CML consists of three stages of its development: chronic, accelerated, and blast crises.
  5. AML can be prevented by quitting smoking and reducing exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, but for CML, as it is chronic leukemia, no such changes could be done to prevent it.
Difference Between AML and CML

Last Updated : 26 June, 2023

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7 thoughts on “AML vs CML: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The piece provides a good comparison of AML and CML while also touching on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention. It is an informative piece for individuals interested in understanding these types of leukemia.

  2. I think the comparison table is really helpful to understand the differences in a clear way, and the article explains the concepts quite thoroughly. It’s a worthwhile read.

  3. I appreciate the detailed information however, it seems to be focused more on the causes and symptoms rather than discussing the significant advancements in treatment.

  4. The article provides a good foundation for understanding AML and CML, but the language used, although informative, might be hard to comprehend for readers without a scientific background.


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