Chronic myelogenous leukemia – also called CML or chronic granulocytic leukemia – is a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease that usually occurs during or after middle age.
Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells that become mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell. Myeloid stem cells develop into red blood cells, platelets, or granulocytes (white blood cells).
In CML, too many blood stem cells become abnormal granulocytes, which can build up in the blood and bone marrow so there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. When this happens, infection, anemia, or easy bleeding may occur.
Most people with CML have a gene mutation called the Philadelphia chromosome. An estimated 8,990 people will be diagnosed with CML and 1,140 will die of the disease in 2019, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Source: National Cancer Institute