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Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Epidemiology

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Chronic myeloid leukemia or CML is one of the rare types of leukemia. It is rare worldwide.

Chronic myeloid leukemia in the United States

A few years ago in the United States, for example, around 4,600 new cases of chronic myeloid leukemia were diagnosed. This was among 33,400 new cases of leukemias of all types. Thus chronic myeloid leukemia is around 14% of all types of leukemias in the United Sates.
Chronic myeloid leukemia forms 20% of all adult leukemias. Since many cases of acute leukemia occur among children this is an important statistic. The yearly incidence or number of cases of chronic myeloid leukemia is 1.6 cases per 100,000 adults.

Chronic myeloid leukemia in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the annual incidence of chronic myeloid leukemia is around 600 individuals a year. Chronic myeloid leukaemia can affect people of any age, but it is more common in people aged 40-60. It does not have geographical or familial trends in UK as well.

Chronic myeloid leukemia male to female ratio

There is a slightly higher number of cases among males than females. The male to female ratio is 1.4:1.

Age of diagnosis

The median age at diagnosis is 65 years. CML is exceedingly rare among children and the risk of the cancer rises with age.

Chronic myeloid leukemia associations

The leukemia usually does not run in families and there are no hereditary, geographic, ethnic, or economic associations with CML.

Chronic myeloid leukemia and radiation exposure

The risk however is higher around areas where there has been a high radiation exposure. For example, individuals exposed to the atom bomb explosions in Japan in 1945, those living near the nuclear accident site at Chernobyl are at a greater risk of the cancer and CML rates are higher in these areas.

American Cancer Society's estimates for chronic myeloid leukemia

According to the American Cancer Society's estimates for chronic myeloid leukemia cases there will be around 5,920 new cases of chronic myeloid leukemia and 610 deaths from the cancer in 2013. The average person's lifetime risk of getting CML is about 1 in 625.

Reviewed by , BA Hons (Cantab)

Further Reading

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2013

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