Leukemia is a type of cancer that causes your body to make too many blood cells, especially white blood cells. White blood cells are a part of your immune system, which helps protect you from infection and disease.
In chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), large numbers of white blood cells are made by the bone marrow. Over time, these cells may not work as they should, and they may cause symptoms as they begin to crowd out healthy white blood cells and other parts of your blood. But chronic leukemia gets worse slowly, and you may have few or no symptoms for months or years. It is often discovered during a routine blood test.
There are many treatments for CML, including chemotherapy and targeted therapy. A healthy diet, exercise, extra rest, and a strong support system can help you feel better. Many people also find that getting counselling or joining a support group helps them cope with their illness.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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