Chronic myeloid leukemia, also known as chronic granulocytic leukemia, causes serious problems if left untreated. Therefore, the disease must be diagnosed early and treated correctly. In this article, we have included all the information you need to know about chronic myeloid leukemia.
Here’s all about chronic granulocytic leukemia…
What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer that affects the blood cells. CML affects myeloid cells and causes an excessive accumulation of immature and abnormal cells in the bone marrow. This affects the production of normal blood cells and causes various problems in the body.
Although the exact cause of CML’s occurrence is unknown, certain genetic changes are believed to play a role. In particular, a genetic abnormality called the Philadelphia chromosome is a major factor in the development of CML. This chromosomal abnormality causes the production of an abnormal protein called BCR-ABL. Overproduction of the BCR-ABL protein leads to uncontrolled growth and division of healthy cells, resulting in excessive blood cell accumulation, one of the key features of CML.
CML is usually a slowly progressing disease and symptoms can go unnoticed for a long time. Some patients may present with symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, weight loss, abdominal pain, bone pain and susceptibility to frequent infections. However, the diagnosis of CML is often made incidentally during routine blood tests.
Treatment of CML can involve a number of methods and can vary depending on the patient’s age, general health and stage of the disease. Targeted therapy is carried out with drugs aimed at inhibiting the BCR-ABL protein. These drugs are often called tyrosine kinase inhibitors and control the growth of CML cells. In addition to drug treatment, a bone marrow transplant may be required in some cases.
The long-term prognosis of CML is generally good. With years of treatment and regular follow-up, many CML patients can return to their normal lives. However, the course of each disease may be different and in some cases the disease may worsen or lead to other complications. Therefore, it is important that patients diagnosed with CML have regular checkups and work closely with their healthcare providers.
Stages of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
There are three stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia. These are the chronic phase, the accelerated phase, and the blastic crisis phase.
Chronic stage Chronic myeloid leukemia
Most patients are diagnosed in the chronic phase. At this stage, the symptoms of chronic myelogenous leukemia are milder. Patients diagnosed and treated at this stage can resume their daily activities in a short time.
Accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia
Anemia may occur in the accelerated phase and there may be an increase or decrease in the number of white blood cells. An enlarged spleen may also occur. In this stage, people are more likely to see symptoms and feel sick.
Blastic Crisis Stage Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
In the blast crisis phase, the number of blast cells in the patient’s bone marrow and blood increases. The number of red blood cells and platelets decreases. Patients may experience infection or bleeding. In addition, fatigue, shortness of breath, stomach and bone pain can also be experienced.
Causes of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer and causes an abnormal growth of myeloid cells. Although the exact reasons for the occurrence of CML are not fully known, certain factors are believed to play a role in the development of this disease.
One of the most common causes of CML is a genetic abnormality called the Philadelphia chromosome. This chromosomal abnormality causes the production of an abnormal protein called BCR-ABL. Overproduction of the BCR-ABL protein leads to uncontrolled growth of healthy cells and excessive accumulation of blood cells, which is one of the main features of CML. This genetic abnormality is usually congenital, but in rare cases can occur later.
Exposure to radiation
Exposure to high levels of radiation can increase the risk of CML. People who work in occupations that are particularly exposed to nuclear accidents, radiotherapy treatment, or intense radiation may be at greater risk for CML.
There may be some genetic factors that provide CML transmission with a familial pattern of inheritance. However, the role of familial transmission is not fully understood and most cases of CML occur spontaneously.
Other risk factors
Some studies show that smoking, exposure to certain chemicals (such as benzene), certain viral infections (hepatitis B or C), and certain autoimmune diseases may be risk factors for the development of CML. However, these factors have not been proven to be direct causes of CML and more research is needed.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a blood cancer and symptoms usually appear in the later stages of the disease. However, in some cases, symptoms may be noticed in the early stages of CML. The symptoms of CML can vary from person to person, depending on the progression of the disease and individual factors. Here are some of the symptoms of chronic myelogenous leukemia:
Fatigue and weakness
CML patients often experience abnormal feelings of fatigue and persistent weakness. This symptom is accompanied by a feeling of difficulty performing normal activities.
Sudden changes in weight
CML patients may experience weight loss or weight gain. These changes can occur due to factors such as decreased appetite or changes in metabolism.
Excessive sweating at night (night sweats) is a common symptom. Patients may wake up frequently during the night and their sweat glands may become congested.
Abdominal pain and bloating
Some CML patients may experience pain, tenderness, or bloating in the abdomen. This condition can be the result of an enlarged spleen or liver.
Bone and joint pain
Since CML is a disease that affects the bone marrow, patients may complain of bone and joint pain. Pain is often felt in the back, chest, or legs.
CML can affect the normal functioning of the immune system and make patients more susceptible to infections. Frequent recurring infections, flu-like symptoms, or common infections are symptoms of CML.
Paleness and shortness of breath
Anemia (anemia) can develop in patients with CML. This can lead to symptoms such as paleness, weakness and shortness of breath.
How Is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Diagnosed?
People should see a doctor when symptoms of chronic myelogenous leukemia appear. A complete blood count test will be requested by the doctor after listening to the patient’s history. As a result of these tests, which are requested by the doctor, a complete diagnosis of the disease can be made.
What Are the Treatment Methods for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is one type of blood cancer, and the course of treatment can vary depending on the stage of the disease, the patient’s age, general health, and other individual factors. Some of the methods used in the treatment of CML are:
One of the most commonly used methods in the treatment of CML is targeted therapy. This treatment aims to inhibit the production of the abnormal BCR-ABL protein. The drugs used for this are known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These drugs slow or stop the progression of the disease by controlling the growth of CML cells. Targeted therapy usually requires a long-term treatment plan and involves regular use of medications.
Bone marrow transplant
Bone marrow transplant may be considered in advanced stages of CML or in cases that do not respond to targeted therapy. In this method, healthy bone marrow cells are transplanted instead of cancer cells. Bone marrow transplant is commonly used in high-risk or advanced-stage CML cases and can be a serious treatment option for patients.
Interferons are proteins that act on the immune system. Interferons can be used in the treatment of CML. These drugs can directly affect cancer cells and encourage other immune cells in the body to fight cancer. Interferon therapy may be an alternative or additional option to targeted therapy.
Medication by CML Staging
Different drug treatments can be used at different stages of CML. Although targeted therapy is usually initiated in early stage patients, various drugs or combination therapies may be considered in advanced stages.
Participation in clinical trials
New drugs and treatment methods are constantly being studied in the treatment of CML. Some patients have access to more innovative treatment options by participating in experimental treatments or clinical trials. Such studies are being conducted to advance the treatment of CML and to develop new treatment approaches.
How long do patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia live?
The average life expectancy of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia varies depending on early diagnosis and whether appropriate treatment is used. The 5-year survival rate of this type of leukemia is 67%. However, it should be noted that with proper treatment, a person can live a long life.
What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
CMl is a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that causes the body to produce cancerous white blood cells. Chronic myeloid leukemia, which progresses more slowly than other types, can be recognized by the symptoms it presents.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
Symptoms seen in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia include high fever, weakness, fatigue, bone pain, and bruising of the skin. The symptoms we have listed are generally seen in all CML patients.
Is CML getting better?
CML can be cured with early diagnosis, proper follow-up, and proper treatment. Proper treatment allows the patient to live a long and quality life.
What Causes Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
Chronic myeloid leukemia is caused by a break in the 9th and 22nd chromosomes of a cell in the bone marrow. After this break, if the genes in the chromosomes combine, an abnormal protein called bcr-abl is formed. This protein also causes the proliferation of CML cells.
Can Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Be Treated?
CML is the most common form of leukemia in adults. 25 out of every 100 adult leukemia patients have this type. The treatment of this disease is possible with lifelong oral medication.