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Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer. In CML, there is increase generation of immature white blood cells as a result of the acquisition of an abnormal chromosome called the Phildelphia chromosome. This results in the abnormal gene mutation called BCR-ABL. CML is a slow glowing leukaemia and most patients are diagnosed at this chronic phase. Rarely, some patients may have a faster progressive form and are diagnosed at later stages called accelerated or blast phase where the leukemia transforms into acute leukemia.
Patients with CML may have limited and mild symptoms. It is often that it is detected incidentally on routine blood test.
At present there is no routine screening for CML.
Individuals should seek medical attention if they have any of the above symptoms.
CML occurs in the presence of Philadelphia chromosomes resulting in a BCR-ABL gene mutation in genes which is involved in the regulation of blood cell production. The cause of the gene mutation is unknown and is usually not an inheritable mutation.
With targeted therapy, CML has become a very treatable condition for many patients with the disease.