What is Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia?
Chronic Myeloid leukemia is a rare type of blood cancer of the myeloid cells that originate in the bone marrow. This is characterized by excessive proliferation of the white blood cells that are usually immature. These immature cells are unable to perform their function of fighting infection and diseases.
Also, the abnormal increase in the white blood cells takes up most of the space in the bone marrow, which in turn hinders the growth and maturation of other blood cells as well.
CML usually occurs in adults due to some kind of chromosomal mutation. There is no known cause or reason for the mutation.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia?
CML is a slow-growing disease. The symptoms do not usually appear till the disease progresses.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with the Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia are:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weight loss
- Splenomegaly or enlargement of spleen resulting in swelling of the abdomen.
- Bone pain
- Skin rashes and itching
How is CML diagnosed?
Before we go into the treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, the doctor needs to diagnose it. The diagnosis involves determining the stage of the disease, spread of the disease, and severity of symptoms.
The following are a few diagnostic tests for CML:
- Complete blood counts
- Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration
- Molecular testing
- Imaging tests
What is the treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia?
The treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is dependent on the phase of the disease progression, grade of cancer, and also the available therapies.
The treatment is multidisciplinary approach which involves many specialists such as a general physician, haemato-oncologists, counselors, dieticians, social worker etc.
1st line treatment of the disease involves systemic therapies to kill the cancer cells along with treating the symptoms. Systemic treatment is given either orally or intravenously (IV).
Some of the most common systemic treatments for Chronic Myeloid leukemia are:
This type of treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is aimed at destroying certain specific proteins or genes associated with the disease. The specificity of the treatment offers a massive advantage over other treatments of CML. This only kills the cancer cells and leave the healthy cells intact.
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