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Your health care team will need to test your blood count and bone marrow to diagnose acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Patients may be diagnosed by having a bone marrow aspiration and a bone marrow biopsy. These tests will measure the levels of different blood cells in your body and help your health care team give an accurate diagnosis.
Research has helped doctors test for certain genetic mutations. The most common of these mutations is in the FLT3 gene (pronounced "flit-three"). After your bone marrow test, your doctor may test for FLT3. Knowing if you have a FLT3 genetic mutation can help your health care team come up with an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Almost all patients with AML have a genetic mutation. The most common mutation is in the FLT3 gene.
Knowing which gene is mutated may mean that you are eligible to get a treatment that targets this specific mutation.
It is always a good idea to have a loved one or caregiver with you when you see your doctor. You will probably get a lot of information at once. Having someone there with you to take notes and ask questions can help you stay organized and help you stay positive.
Get more information about FLT3+ AML and treatment with RYDAPT (PDF).