Statistics and outlook for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
This page is about what statistics can tell us about the outlook for people with chronic myeloid leukaemia. There is information about
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 taken from a variety of sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check every section of our patient information. They 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.
You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating CML section.
This page has quite detailed information about the survival rates for different stages of CML. People ask us for this information but not everyone diagnosed with cancer wants to read it. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can always come back to it later.
The statistics here are intended as a general guide and can't tell you what is likely to happen in your individual case.
Our section about cancer statistics has information about the different types of statistics, such as incidence, survival and mortality. Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, you may find it helpful to read this before you read the information below.
Remember that statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot predict exactly what will happen to you. No two patients are exactly alike and response to treatment also varies from one person to another.
You should feel free to ask your doctor about your prognosis, but not even your doctor can tell you for sure what will happen. You may hear your doctor use the term 5 or 10 year survival. It does not mean you will only live 5 or 10 years. Researchers look at all the people who were included when the research studies began. And of that group of people they look at how many are still alive 5 or 10 years after diagnosis. This allows them to compare the results of different treatments in research studies.
Please note that there are no national UK statistics available for different stages of CML or treatments that people may have received. The statistics we present here are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of our patient information. We provide statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and cannot be used to predict your own individual outlook.
Overall, more than 70 out of 100 men (70%) and almost 75 out of 100 women (75%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed with CML. This is based on statistics for people diagnosed with CML in England between 2008 and 2010. They come from the National Cancer Intelligence Network.
The outcome of treatment for each individual person with chronic myeloid leukaemia depends on a number of different factors. Your age affects your outcome and younger people tend to have a better outlook. For people aged between 15 and 64, almost 90 out of 100 people (90%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. For people aged 65 or over, more than 40 out of 100 (40%) will survive for 5 years or more.
Other factors that affect outcome include how advanced the CML is (the stage) when it is diagnosed and how well it responds to treatment. You will need to talk this through with your own specialist. CML is often a slowly developing condition and treatment can keep it under control for many years.
Modern biological therapy treatments such as imatinib (Glivec), dasatinib (Sprycel) and nilotinib (Tasigna) work very well. They can often get rid of all signs of the CML for many years. This is called remission. 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.
No statistics can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people.
The statistics we have are not detailed enough to tell you about the different treatments people may have had. And how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will determine your treatment and prognosis.
If you would like to read more about survival rates and other statistics for CML, go to our CancerStats page:
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