According to the National Cancer Institute, AML continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States with the estimates for 2012 being 13,780 and 10,200, respectively.
Cancer isn't one disease, leukemia isn't one disease and AML isn't even one disease. It turns out AML is a heterogeneous disease and as the population ages its incidence is expected to rise significantly. The genetic mutations associated with aging are finally being revealed.
Researchers are zeroing in on the two or three mutations that turn stem cells riddled with age-related mutations but still capable of functioning albeit less effectively, into the clone responsible for AML. The fact that it's these last few mutations, combined with those genetic insults sustained as a result of the aging process, that are responsible for precipitating AML would seem to support the notion that benzene-induced leukemia was a phenomenon limited for the most part to those first exposed in their forties or later.
Why do people with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk of AML? It could be because they share an intriguing infectious etiology.