Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Diagnosis and Treatment in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is one of the least common forms of leukemia. Of all new leukemia cases, CML accounts for only about 15%. CML typically grows slowly, but it can accelerate quickly without warning.
Regional Cancer Care Associates, a network of experienced oncologists in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, treats CML at all stages to help patients maintain a high quality of life.
What Is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia?
One of the more distinctive types of cancer, leukemia doesn’t affect a single organ. Instead, it lives in the bloodstream, creating abnormal cells that circulate throughout the body. CML is a specific type of leukemia that starts in blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. Over time, the abnormal cells created by CML will grow, divide, and spread throughout the bone marrow and into the blood. Although CML is slow-growing, it can become acute and difficult to treat.
Signs and Symptoms
CML is difficult to identify and can exist for years before the patient experiences symptoms. And when symptoms do appear, they’re often vague and can be confused with signs of other ailments. These symptoms include:
- Fevers and night sweats
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Enlarged spleen
- Bone pain
If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact your doctor, who can perform diagnostic tests to correctly identify the cause and plan effective treatment.
Who Is at Risk?
Among the risk factors for CML, age is among the most significant. The average age at diagnosis is approximately 64 years, and the condition is rare among people younger than age 45. CML also is more common in men than in women, though the reason is unknown.
High doses of radiation exposure also can increase CML risk. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and radiation therapy all emit radiation, but at doses small enough to be considered safe. CML, however, can also develop in people with no known risk factors.
Treating Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
CML has three phases. The chronic phase comes with relatively minor symptoms and is fairly easy to treat. The accelerated or blast phases, however, are more difficult to address. Because CML can accelerate quickly, it’s important to monitor the condition carefully and target treatment based on the disease’s phase. Personalized treatment plans for patients with CML may include:
You may also want to consider participating in a clinical trial for your treatment. A clinical trial is a carefully controlled research study that allows physicians to test the effectiveness of a promising new treatment. While doctors are learning better methods to treat cancer, patients receive affordable access to state-of-the-art treatments.
Fight Chronic Myeloid Leukemia With Us
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with CML, Regional Cancer Care Associates is standing by to help. With numerous locations in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, we make the most advanced cancer treatments conveniently available to the communities we serve. To learn more, contact us today.