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Staging for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Men and women discussing chronic myeloid leukaemia

This page is about the different stages of chronic myeloid leukaemia. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

What is staging?

When your doctors have all your test results, they will know how far your leukaemia has developed. This is called staging. The stage of your CML helps your doctor to work out the treatment you will need.

Staging CML

The staging in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is described in 3 phases. These are the chronic phase, the accelerated phase, and the blast phase.

In the chronic or stable phase, you have symptoms that are mild and vague. These may include feeling tired, losing a little weight, and a slightly enlarged spleen. The number of white cells and platelets in your blood may be raised.

In the accelerated phase, your symptoms are more obvious. You may notice that you feel more tired than usual or lose weight. Your spleen may be very enlarged, which may cause an uncomfortable or painful feeling to the left of your stomach under your ribs.

The blast phase is also called the acute phase or blast crisis. In this phase, the leukaemia develops much more quickly. Your symptoms will be troublesome and you feel quite unwell.

 

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

 

 

What staging means

When your doctors have all your test results, they know how far your leukaemia has developed. Your doctor uses the stage of your chronic leukaemia to work out the treatment you need. There are different ways of staging different types of chronic leukaemia. If you are looking for information about stages of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia you need to go to the staging chronic lymphocytic leukaemia page.

 

Staging for CML

The staging in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is described in phases. There are three phases

Chronic phase

The chronic phase is when the leukaemia is most stable and still developing slowly. About 9 out of 10 people (90%) are in chronic phase when they are diagnosed. Some people are diagnosed by chance and have no symptoms. But you may have symptoms that are mild and vague. You may feel tired and lose a little weight. Your spleen may be slightly enlarged. The number of white cells in your blood may be raised and so may the number of platelets. Fewer than 1 in 10 (10%) of the blood cells in your bone marrow are immature white blood cells known as blasts.

Accelerated phase

In the accelerated phase, you have more obvious symptoms. You may notice that you feel more tired than usual. You may lose weight. Your spleen may be enlarged, which might give you an uncomfortable or painful feeling to the left of your stomach, under your ribs. Between 10% and 30% of the blood cells in your bone marrow are immature blasts.

Blast phase

The blast phase is also called the acute phase, blast crisis or blast transformation. In this phase the leukaemia develops much more quickly. Your symptoms will be troublesome and you will feel quite unwell. Your spleen will be enlarged. More than 30% of the blood cells in your bone marrow will be immature blast cells and the leukaemic cells will have spread to other organs.

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Updated: 25 April 2013