- General treatment information
- Chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia
- Other drugs for acute myeloid leukemia
- Surgery for acute myeloid leukemia
- Radiation therapy for acute myeloid leukemia
- Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia
- Clinical trials for acute myeloid leukemia
- Complementary and alternative therapies for acute myeloid leukemia
- Typical treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (except promyelocytic M3)
- Treatment of acute promyelocytic (M3) leukemia
- What if the leukemia doesn`t respond or comes back after treatment?
- More treatment information
Surgery for acute myeloid leukemia
Surgery has a very limited role in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Because leukemia cells spread widely throughout the bone marrow and to many other organs, it is not possible to cure this type of cancer with surgery. Surgery rarely has any role even in the diagnosis, since a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy can usually diagnose leukemia. On rare occasions, an isolated tumor of leukemia cells (known as a granulocytic sarcoma or a chloroma) may be treated with surgery.
Often before chemotherapy is about to start, a small plastic tube, called a central venous catheter or venous access device (VAD), is inserted into a large vein. This may be done by a surgeon in the operating room, or by a special type of radiologist. The end of the tube is just under the skin or sticks out in the chest area or upper arm. The VAD is left in place during treatment to give intravenous (IV) drugs, such as chemotherapy, and to take blood samples. This lowers the number of needle sticks needed during treatment. It is very important for the patient to learn how to care for the VAD to prevent it from getting infected.
Last Medical Review: 03/22/2012
Last Revised: 01/18/2013