Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight infection. Your blood cells form in your bone marrow. In leukemia, however, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for blood to do its work. In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), there are too many of a specific type of white blood cell called a granulocyte.
Sometimes CML does not cause any symptoms at all. If you have symptoms, they may include:
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the left side
Tests that examine the blood and bone marrow diagnose CML. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplants, infusion of donated white blood cells following stem cell transplants, immune therapy, or surgery to remove the spleen.
For more information, visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/chronicmyeloidleukemia.html.