Survival statistics for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) | Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

Survival statistics for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Men and women discussing chronic myeloid leukaemia

Survival statistics for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). There is information about


A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Doctors call this prognosis. The outcome of treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia depends on a number of different factors. This includes how advanced the CML is when it is diagnosed and how well it responds to treatments such as biological therapies.

We have quite detailed information about the likely outcome of CML. The statistics we use are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you need to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. Remember you don't have to read this information, you can always come back to it.

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating CML section.



Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) survival

Find out about survival for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).

People ask us for this information but not everyone with cancer wants to read it. So, if you aren’t sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can come back to it later. 

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. They can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

No one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live with CML. It depends on your individual situation, treatment and level of fitness. 

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). Or you can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.


CML survival statistics

No UK-wide statistics are available for CML survival.

These statistics are for people with CML in England, diagnosed between 2008 and 2010. They come from the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

Generally for CML

  • more than 70 out of 100 men (more than 70%) and almost 75 out of 100 women (almost 75%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed

This is for all ages. Younger people tend to have a better outlook than older people. 

  • For people aged between 15 and 64, almost 90 out of 100 (almost 90%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 
  • For people aged 65 or over, more than 40 out of 100 (more than 40%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more. 

What affects survival

Your outlook depends on the stage of your CML. This means how advanced it is when it is diagnosed.

CML is often a slowly developing condition and treatment can keep it under control for many years. Modern biological therapy treatments work very well and people can get into remission for many years. Remission is when the disease is not active – you don't have symptoms and it doesn't show up in your blood samples.

If the CML comes back (relapses), further treatment can often achieve a second remission. If biological therapies don't work for you, you are likely to have intensive treatment with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

CML that has entered the blast phase is more difficult to manage. But treatment can sometimes get it back into chronic phase, where it is not so difficult to keep it under control. If CML in blast phase does not respond to treatment, unfortunately you are more likely to live for months, rather than years.


About these statistics

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of leukaemia. Many people live much longer than 5 years.

The statistics on this page are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than leukaemia. This gives a more accurate picture of leukaemia survival.


Clinical trials

Research trials are continuing to try to improve the treatments and outlook for people with CML. You can search for trials for chronic leukaemia on our clinical trials database.


More statistics

Read more about understanding statistics in cancer research and incidence, mortality and survival statistics.

For more in-depth information about survival and other statistics for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), go to our Cancer Statistics section.

Rate this page:
Submit rating


Rated 4 out of 5 based on 36 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 12 June 2015