Why choose us for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) care?
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a blood cancer that occurs when your body produces too many white blood cells. Doctors at Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, are giving CML patients hope.
We use a team approach that combines recommendations from different blood cancer specialists to provide exceptional care. We meet regularly in meetings called tumor boards to coordinate treatments for conditions that do not respond to standard therapies. Our expertise, along with leading treatments, helps many patients get back to their daily lives.
CML is one of the many blood cancers we treat. Get more information about our hematology oncology program.
What you need to know about chronic myeloid leukemia
- Your bone marrow produces stem cells, which become red blood cells, platelets or white blood cells.
- CML usually happens when there is a change to a specific gene (Philadelphia chromosome) in your blood cells.
- With CML, stem cells become white blood cells in high numbers. These abnormal white blood cells build up in your bone marrow, crowding out healthy cells.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia often occurs in middle-aged or older adults.
How to talk to your doctor about chronic myeloid leukemia
A chronic myeloid leukemia diagnosis can come as a shock. We are here for you with the answers, care recommendations and reassurance you need.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, to confirm the diagnosis
- Cancer stage, including how advanced the CML is and whether it may spread
- Treatment options, which may include multiple rounds of chemotherapy
- Potential treatment side effects and how we help you feel better
- Support to help you cope with the ways CML may affect your daily life
We explain tests and treatments in ways you can understand. You are welcome to bring loved ones with you to care appointments. They can help you keep track of important details or remember to ask specific questions.
CML has three phases:
- Chronic phase: A small number of immature white blood cells (blasts) are present in the blood or bone marrow. You might not experience symptoms or know that you are sick.
- Accelerated phase: The number of blasts increases, along with other possible changes to your blood, like low platelet counts. People often notice symptoms in this phase.
- Blast phase: High numbers of blasts are present in the blood or bone marrow. In this phase, cancer may spread to nearby tissue and organs.