Chronic myeloid leukemia

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) can be called chronic granulocytic leukemia or chronic myeloid leukemia. It is a cancer of the bone marrow, the spongy tissues in the bone responsible for producing blood cells. CML affects myeloid cells and usually grows slowly at first.

Causes–

  • Genetic Mutation- The mutations in the DNA causes the stem cells to produce more white blood cells too quickly
  • Reduction in the blood cells other than WBC’s
  • Exposure to radiation-nuclear disaster, treatment of a previous cancer(thyroid cancer or Hodgkin’s lymphoma), chemical benzene
  • Exposure to pesticides.

Symptoms And Signs–

  • Chronic Phase—

This phase lasts for months or years with few or no symptoms

  • Accelerated Phase–

This is a dangerous phase with few symptoms like-

  1. Fever (without infection)
  2. Bone pain
  3. An enlarged spleen
  • Blast crisis-

Untreated CML progresses to the blast crisis phase with the following symptoms:-

  1. Bleeding and bruising
  2. Fatigue
  3. Infections
  4. Low-grade fever
  5. Night sweats
  6. Petechiae
  7. Pressure under the left ribs from a swollen spleen
  8. Weakness

Investigations—

  • Bone marrow aspiration
  • Biopsy
  • Full blood count with white blood cell differential
  • Chromosomal study

Treatment—

  • Early-stage chronic myeloid leukaemia

Medicines

  • Advanced chronic myeloid leukaemia
  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Bone marrow and stem cell transplants-Transplantations have better outcomes if the donor has the same tissue type as the person who is receiving the donation. The best candidate to provide a donation is usually a brother or sister with the same tissue type.

Complications—-

  • Diarrhoea
  • High fever of 38 C (101.4 F) or above
  • Infertility
  • Recurrent infections

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