Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) symptoms and diagnosis
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) staging
For most cancers, doctors will run tests to ‘stage’ the disease and help them plan treatment. When doctors ‘stage’ CML, they are trying to find out what phase the disease is in – chronic, accelerated or blast.
It’s important to know that most people with CML stay in the chronic phase which is the easiest phase to treat. If the disease develops, it doesn’t always do it phase by phase. Rarely, people might move from chronic phase straight to the blast phase. Likewise, treatment at the accelerated phase or blast phase can move you back to the chronic phase.
The full blood count, bone marrow sample and cytogenetic tests all help doctors to stage CML.
As part of staging, your doctors will work out your ‘risk score’. This is to help them plan the best treatment for you. Risk scores are less important today than before the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), because most people with CML respond to these drugs regardless of their risk score.
There are four risk scores for CML that you might hear mentioned: Sokal, Hasford, ELTS and EUTOS. Sokal is most commonly used. The Sokal risk score looks at:
- your age
- the size of your spleen
- the number of blast cells in your blood
- your platelet count.