Chronic myelogenous (myeloid) leukemia (CML) is an uncommon type of cancer of the blood cells. The term “chronic” in chronic myelogenous leukemia indicates that this cancer tends to progress more slowly than acute forms of leukemia. The term “myelogenous” refers to the type of cells affected by this cancer. Chronic myelogenous leukemia typically affects older adults and rarely occurs in children, though it can occur at any age.
The phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia refers to the aggressiveness of the disease. A higher proportion of diseased cells means chronic myelogenous leukemia is at a more advanced stage.
Phases of chronic myelogenous leukemia include:
- Chronic. The chronic phase is the earliest phase and generally has the best response to treatment
- Accelerated. The accelerated phase is a transitional phase when the disease becomes more aggressive
- Blastic. Blastic phase is a severe, aggressive phase that becomes life-threatening