Leukemia - Chronic Myeloid - CML: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2014

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

About 10% of all leukemia is CML. This year, an estimated 6,660 people (3,530 men and 3,130 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with CML. Most of these will be adults. CML is rare in children.

It is estimated that 1,140 deaths (590 men and 560 women) will occur this year. The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is found. The five-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 research is rapid, with several drug approvals in the past decade. 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 five-year survival rate for CML has nearly doubled from 31% for people diagnosed in the early 1990s to 60% for those diagnosed between 2004 and 2010, which is the most recent data available. Because survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent all of the recent significant advances made in the treatment and diagnosis of CML. In one study of patients with CML who were consistently taking the drug imatinib, researchers found that 90% lived at least five years.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with CML. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2015.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations and it offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.