Understanding Ph+ CML
What happens in Ph+ CML?
Watch this short video to learn more about what happens in your body when you have Ph+ CML.
Transcript: Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia, or Ph+ CML, is a kind of leukemia or cancer of the blood.
To help understand Ph+ CML, let’s first take a closer look at the blood flowing through our bodies.
Our blood is made up of many types of cells. These blood cells are made in the bone marrow which is the spongy center of our bones. There are 3 main types of cells and each type has a job to do.
Red blood cells help carry oxygen throughout the body.
Platelets are blood cells that help control bleeding.
White blood cells help your body fight infection.
Your bone marrow makes a certain number of each type of cell called a ‘count.’
Ph+ CML is a kind of leukemia or cancer of the blood. It causes white blood cells to behave differently.
When you have Ph+ CML, an abnormal protein in the bone marrow called BCR-ABL triggers the production of too many immature or damaged white blood cells to be produced.
These damaged white blood cells do not work properly and can crowd out the normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
The decrease in normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets may lead to many of the signs and symptoms of CML.
How is CML treated?
Not too long ago, people with CML had few treatment options.
Then, a whole new kind of therapy was introduced in the early 2000s. It’s called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). TKIs work by blocking the abnormal BCR-ABL protein from producing more abnormal white blood cells. TKIs have helped many people manage their disease.
What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of Ph+ CML?
These are not all the symptoms of Ph+ CML. You may experience others. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concernsChronic phase: the first phase of CML; it can last for months or years; most people are diagnosed with CML during this phase.
What Are the Phases of Ph+ CML?
Each phase of Ph+ CML is defined by the percentage of blast cells, which are an abnormal type of immature white blood cell, in the blood and bone marrow.
The immediate goal of treatment is to reduce the number of leukemia cells being produced in your body.