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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC


Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

What Is CML?

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a disorder characterised by overgrowth of all three of the components of blood, namely red cells, white cells and platelets, all of which contain a specific chromosomal abnormality called the Philadelphia chromosome.

Symptoms & Prognosis

In the early stage of CML (chronic or stable phase), patients may have no symptoms. However, patients with CML often complain of bone pain, fever, night sweats, weight loss, easy bruising, and/or left-sided abdominal pain - due to enlargement of the spleen.

Many of these symptoms resolve if the blood counts are reduced to normal levels with medications. Unfortunately, even if the blood counts are controlled, the condition often progresses to an accelerated or blast phase (it becomes similar to an acute leukemia) after an average of 4-5 years. Once CML reaches this point, it becomes difficult to control blood count and the prognosis is poor. Patients die within a matter of months from infection or bleeding.


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