Leukemia - Chronic Myeloid - CML: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with CML each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu.

About 10% of all leukemia is CML. This year, an estimated 8,220 people (4,610 men and 3,610 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with CML. Most of these will be adults, with an average age of diagnosis at 64 years. CML is rare in children.

It is estimated that 1,070 deaths (570 men and 500 women) will occur this year.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate of people with CML depends on the phase of the disease, other biologic characteristics of the CML, and the disease’s response to treatment. The pace of CML treatment research is rapid, with several drug approvals in the past 2 decades. It is important to note that many of the new drugs for CML work very well, and survival rates are continually being measured based on these newer drugs.

Due in large part to recent scientific advances in the area of targeted treatments like imatinib (Gleevec), the 5-year survival rate for CML has nearly doubled from 31% for people diagnosed in the early 1990s to 63% for those diagnosed between 2005 and 2011, which are the most recent data available. And, a study of patients consistently taking the drug imatinib found that 90% lived at least 5 years.

It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with CML. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2016, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.