ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors, and no 2 people with cancer are the same. Use the menu to see other pages.
Every person is different, with different factors influencing their risk of being diagnosed with this cancer and the chance of recovery after a diagnosis. It is important to talk with your doctor about any questions you have around the general statistics provided below and what they may mean for you individually. The original sources for these statistics are provided at the bottom of this page.
How many people are diagnosed with AML?
While leukemia in general is a common disease, the specific type of AML is uncommon, making up about 1% of cancers. In 2023, an estimated 20,380 people of all ages (11,410 men and boys and 8,970 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with AML. The disease is the second most common type of leukemia diagnosed in adults and children, but most cases occur in adults. AML makes up 31% of all adult leukemia cases. Although AML can be diagnosed at any age, it is uncommon before age 45. The average age of diagnosis is age 68.
It is estimated that 11,310 deaths (6,440 men and boys and 4,870 women and girls) from this disease will occur in the United States in 2023. The majority will be among adults.
What is the survival rate for AML?
There are different types of statistics that can help doctors evaluate a person’s chance of recovery from AML. These are called survival statistics. A specific type of survival statistic is called the relative survival rate. It is often used to predict how having cancer may affect life expectancy. Relative survival rate looks at how likely people with AML are to survive for a certain amount of time after their initial diagnosis or start of treatment compared to the expected survival of similar people without this cancer.
Example: Here is an example to help explain what a relative survival rate means. Please note this is only an example and not specific to this type of cancer. Let’s assume that the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific type of cancer is 90%. “Percent” means how many out of 100. Imagine there are 1,000 people without cancer, and based on their age and other characteristics, you expect 900 of the 1,000 to be alive in 5 years. Also imagine there are another 1,000 people similar in age and other characteristics as the first 1,000, but they all have the specific type of cancer that has a 5-year survival rate of 90%. This means it is expected that 810 of the people with the specific cancer (90% of 900) will be alive in 5 years.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with AML are only an estimate. They cannot tell an individual person if cancer will or will not shorten their life. Instead, these statistics describe trends in groups of people previously diagnosed with the same disease, including specific stages of the disease.
The 5-year relative survival rate for people 20 and older with AML is 28%. For people younger than 20, the 5-year relative survival rate is 69%.
The survival rates for AML vary based on several factors. These include a person’s age and general health, and how well the treatment plan works. Another factor that can affect outcomes includes biologic features of the disease (see Subtypes for more information). Although AML is a serious disease, it is treatable and often curable with chemotherapy with or without a bone marrow/stem cell transplant (see the Types of Treatment section).
Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for AML every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how AML is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2023, and the ACS website. (All sources accessed February 2023.)
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by AML. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.