Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia: A Guide for Patients

Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices.

Definition of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

There are different forms of leukaemia depending on what type of blood cell is affected. “Chronic” describes a slow progression, and “myeloid” denotes the origin from myeloid cells - immature cells that normally become mature red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. In chronic myeloid leukaemia, the bone marrow produces too many myeloid blood cells at various stages of maturation. Excess production of myleloid blood cells in the bone marrow ultimately prevents the normal production of red blood cells, and decreased production of platelets.

Beyond a definition of chronic myeloid leukaemia, in this guide for patients you will also find answers to questions such as:

  • Is chronic myeloid leukaemia frequent?
  • What causes chronic myeloid leukaemia?
  • How is chronic myeloid leukaemia diagnosed?
  • What is it important to know to get the optimal treatment?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What happens after the treatment?

This guide for patients has been prepared in collaboration with  Anti-Cancer Fund as a service to patients, to help patients and their relatives better understand the nature of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and appreciate the best treatment choices available according to the subtype of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. ESMO recommends that patients ask their doctors about what tests or types of treatments are needed for their type and stage of disease.

Patient Guides for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia were published in 2013.