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Staging Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is not staged like other solid tumor cancers.

Instead, CML is broken down into three phases. The number of blasts present in the blood stream identifies each phase.

The Chronic Phase

In the Chronic Phase, people with CML may have little or no symptoms at all. A blood test may detect the CML.

In this phase, the CML may be controlled with drugs. If you become resistant to drugs, your disease may progress to the next phase, the Accelerated Phase.

The Accelerated Phase

In the Accelerated Phase of CML, you may begin experiencing symptoms associated with an enlarged spleen, low red blood cell count, or an increase or decrease in white blood cells.

The Blast Phase

The Blast Phase of CML is diagnosed when you have an increase of blast cells in your bone marrow and blood. In this phase, you are at higher risk for other complications of CML such as shortness of breath, infection and bleeding.

Once CML gets to the Blast Phase, it can accelerate into acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and requires immediate medical attention.