Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Understanding Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Different types of leukemia cells behave differently. They require different types of treatment. If you have leukemia, it is considered either acute or chronic, depending on how fast the number of leukemia cells increases. And it is either lymphoid or myeloid, depending on the type of white blood cell that has turned into leukemia. By looking at these factors, a doctor can classify most cases of leukemia into one of those four main types of leukemia. Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is one of those types.

Types of Leukemia

Here are other types of leukemia.

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) 

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

  • Hairy cell leukemia

  • Plasma cell leukemia

  • Prolymphocytic leukemia

  • Leukemic phase of lymphoma

What Is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)?

CML is found mostly in adults. In general, it's a slow-growing type of leukemia. This means that you may not be diagnosed right away because, at first, there are no symptoms. However, if not treated, CML may eventually go into an acute (blast) phase where many immature white blood cells (called blasts) can be found in the blood or bone marrow. At this phase, CML acts like a more aggressive, acute leukemia.

There is no staging system to classify CML. Instead, doctors classify CML by three phases:

  • Chronic phase

  • Accelerated phase

  • Blast phase