Symptoms of CML and the Diagnosis and Treatment

CML or chronic myelogenous leukemia, also referred to as chronic myeloid leukemia is a cancer affecting the bone marrow (the soft portion present inside the bones where different types of blood cells are produced) and blood cells. CML generally occurs in older adults and very rarely affects children, although it may occur in people of any age. It is imperative to detect the symptoms of CML early as the response to treatment is better when it is started early.

CML Symptoms

Around 25% of people suffering from CML present with no symptoms at the time of diagnosis. Their CML is diagnosed on the basis of routine blood tests and many symptoms are caused by some other illness. Symptoms, if present, are initially mild and gradually become worse.

Some of the less common CML signs, which usually occur during the later stages are:

When to Visit a Physician?

If you develop any of the above mentioned CML symptoms, you should visit your physician and get yourself evaluated. However, these symptoms may be produced due to certain other medical illnesses also. Most of the people who have these symptoms may not be diagnosed with CML.

CML Diagnosis and Treatment


Procedures and tests that are used to diagnose CML are:


The aim of treatment is to destroy abnormal blood cells and restore the levels of healthy blood cells. It is generally not possible to destroy all the abnormal cells.If you receive treatment during the initial, chronic stage of CML, the disease can be prevented from progressing to a more advanced stage.

1. Medications

Physicians usually give medicines called as TKIs or tyrosine kinase inhibitors initially. These medicines reduce the rate of production of leukemia cells in your body. Some of these drugs that are commonly used are:

You may receive ponatinib (Iclusig) and bosutinib (Bosulif) if other medicines don’t help or worsen your symptoms.

If your condition continues to worsen after you have received 2 or more TKIs, you may receive another medicine referred to as Synribo (omacetaxine mepesuccinate).

2. Other Treatments

Other options to treat CML are biologic therapy and chemotherapy. In biologic therapy, a drug referred to as interferon is given to activate the immune system.

A complicated procedure called stem transplant may be done in some patients when all other treatments have failed. Stem cells used in stem transplant are cells that are present in your bone marrow and produce new blood cells. During a stem cell transplant, new stem cells are supplied by a donor.

Close relatives including your sister or brother can be a good match for stem transplant. If this doesn’t work, then you will have to get the donor from a list of potential donors. Sometimes, the best chances for getting right stem cells are from someone who belongs to the same ethnic or racial group as you.

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