Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a rare type of cancer affecting mostly adults. It is a cancer of granulocytes (one of the main types of white blood cells). In CML too many granulocytes are produced and they are released into the blood when they are immature and unable to work properly. The immature white blood cells are known as blasts. The production of other types of blood cells is also disrupted. Normally, white blood cells repair and reproduce themselves in an orderly and controlled manner, but in chronic myeloid leukaemia the process gets out of control and the cells continue to divide and mature abnormally. The disease usually develops very slowly, which is why it is called ‘chronic’ myeloid leukaemia.
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