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Health Information For Parents
Chronic myelogenous (mye-eh-LAH-jeh-nis) leukemia is a type of leukemia that develops in the bone marrow, the soft spongy area inside the bones.
It starts in early myeloid (MYE-eh-loyd) cells, which are blood cells that usually become white blood cells. These myeloid cells do not mature normally into white blood cells. Instead, they collect in the bone marrow and blood in large numbers.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia is also known as chronic myeloid leukemia.
A chromosomal problem causes chronic myelogenous leukemia. Chromosomes contain pieces of DNA called genes. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes.
CML happens when a piece of a chromosome breaks off and attaches to a part of another chromosome. The combination of the two chromosomes forms an abnormal gene known as BCR-ABL. This gene then guides the body to make too many abnormal white blood cells.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia is very rare in children. Each year, only about 150 children in the United States are diagnosed with CML.
Although researchers know which genes are involved in the development of CML, they do not yet know why some people get it and others do not.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia tends to progress slowly. So at first a child may have few or no symptoms. In fact, symptoms can take months or even years to develop.
The symptoms of all types of leukemia are generally the same and include:
(cells that help blood clotting)
Because symptoms might not begin for quite a while with chronic myelogenous leukemia, doctors might find it when a child has a routine blood test for other reasons.
When doctors suspect CML, they will order more tests, such as:
Treatment of CML depends on things like:
This information, in addition to a child’s age and overall health, helps doctors develop treatment plans that may include:
The goal is remission, which is when there is no evidence of cancer cells in the body. Then, doctors use tyrosine kinase inhibitors to keep a child in remission and to keep killing cancer cells. The cancer team regularly checks how the chemotherapy is working by doing blood tests and measuring how many abnormal genes remain in the blood.
Having a child being treated for cancer can feel overwhelming for any family. But you’re not alone. To find support, talk to your child’s doctor or a hospital social worker. Many resources are available to help you get through this difficult time.
If you’ve just finished a long hospital stay, you may have questions about reconnecting with friends and family. Get answers in this article for teens.
Chemotherapy (chemo) is treatment with medicines that stop the growth of cancer cells.
Stem cells can develop into cells with different skills, so they’re useful in treating diseases like cancer.
Cancer is a serious illness that needs special treatment. Find out more about how kids can cope with cancer.
When kids get cancer, it can often be treated and cured. Find out more in this article for kids.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer. Because it develops and gets worse quickly, prompt treatment is very important. With treatment, most kids are cured.
Leukemia refers to cancers of the white blood cells. With the proper treatment, the outlook for kids with leukemia is quite good.
Chemotherapy is a big word for treatment with medicines used to help people who have cancer. This medicine kills the cancer cells that are making the person sick.
Certain cancers, or cancer treatment, can weaken the immune system, requiring a child to stay home to avoid exposure to germs. Here are ways to help your child make the best of it.
Stem cells help rebuild a weakened immune system. Stem cell transplants are effective treatments for a wide range of diseases, including cancer.
Taking care of a chronically ill child is one of the most draining and difficult tasks a parent can face. But support groups, social workers, and family friends often can help.
Visit our Cancer Center for teens to get information and advice on treating and coping with cancer.
From treatments and prevention to coping with the emotional aspects of cancer, the Cancer Center provides comprehensive information that parents need.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) happens when the body makes too many immature white blood cells. Among kids with leukemia, 20% have this type. With treatment, most recover.
Learn about this rare type of cancer, which usually affects kids under 4 years old.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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