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Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)


This type of leukemia mainly affects adults. A person with CML may have few or no symptoms for months or years before entering a phase in which the leukemia cells grow more quickly.1


Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is an uncommon type of cancer of the bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. CML causes an increased number of white blood cells in the blood.2


The term “chronic” in chronic myelogenous leukemia indicates that this cancer tends to progress more slowly than acute forms of leukemia. The term “myelogenous” in chronic myelogenous leukemia refers to the type of cells affected by this cancer.2


Chronic myelogenous leukemia can also be called chronic myeloid leukemia and chronic granulocytic leukemia. It typically affects older adults and rarely occurs in children, though it can occur at any age.2



Chronic myelogenous leukemia often doesn’t cause signs and symptoms. It might be detected during a blood test. When they occur, signs and symptoms may include:


  • Bone pain
  • Easy bleeding
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
  • Feeling run-down or tired
  • Fever
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain or fullness below the ribs on the left side
  • Excessive sweating during sleep (night sweats)2



Chronic myelogenous leukemia occurs when something goes awry in the genes of your bone marrow cells. It’s not clear what initially sets off this process, but doctors have discovered how it progresses into chronic myelogenous leukemia.2


Factors that increase the risk of chronic myelogenous leukemia:


  • Age: older age
  • Sex: male
  • Radiation exposure, such as radiation therapy for certain types of cancer2


Chronic Myelocytic Leukemia | Alinity hq
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) | CELL-DYN Ruby
1. Mayo Clinic. Leukemia.
2. Mayo Clinic. Chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Image source: Medscape. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML).

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