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Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Health    Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Also called: CML, Chronic granulocytic leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia

Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work. In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), there are too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell.

Most people with CML have a gene mutation (change) called the Philadelphia chromosome.

Sometimes CML does not cause any symptoms. If you have symptoms, they may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the left side

Tests that examine the blood and bone marrow diagnose CML. Treatments include chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, infusion of donated white blood cells following stem cell transplants, surgery to remove the spleen, and biologic and targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following features are indicative of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • fever
  • night sweats
  • tiredness
  • easy bleeding
  • losing weight without trying
  • loss of appetite
  • pain or fullness below the ribs on the left side
  • pale skin
It is possible that Chronic Myeloid Leukemia shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following are the most common causes of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • replacement of bone marrow's normal blood-making cells by leukemia cells
  • shortage of blood cells

Risk Factors for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • radiation exposure
  • old age person
  • being females

Prevention of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid exposure to harmful radiations

Occurrence of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • Complete blood count: To count total number of blood cells
  • Blood chemistry tests: To measure the amount of chemicals in the blood
  • Conventional cytogenetics: To looks at chromosomes
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization: To look at chromosomes
  • Polymerase chain reaction: To detect BCR-ABL oncogene in leukemia cells
  • Computed tomography scan: To check any enlarged lymph nodes or organs in the body
  • Magnetic resonance imaging scan: To get clear picture of brain and spinal cord
  • Ultrasound: To check enlarged organs inside the abdomen

Doctor for Diagnosis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • Hematologist
  • Oncologist

Complications of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia if untreated

Yes, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is left untreated:
  • fatigue
  • excess bleeding
  • pain
  • enlarged spleen
  • infection
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following procedures are used to treat Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • Blood stem cell transplant: To cure chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • Chemotherapy: To kill cancer cells
  • Biological therapy: To help fight cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia:
  • Acupuncture therapy: Helps in coping with the stress of a chronic condition and the side effects of cancer treatment
  • Use aromatherapy technique: Helps in coping with the stress of a chronic condition and the side effects of cancer treatment
  • Do massage therapy: Helps in coping with the stress of a chronic condition and the side effects of cancer treatment
  • Do meditation: Helps in coping with the stress of a chronic condition and the side effects of cancer treatment

Patient Support for Treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

The following actions may help Chronic Myeloid Leukemia patients:
  • Education: Learning enough about chronic myelogenous leukemia to make decisions about care
  • Family and friends for support: Help coping with situation
  • Connect with other cancer survivors: Support group of people with the same diagnosis can be a source of useful information, practical tips and encouragement

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

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