There are three main subtypes of chronic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia. Both chronic myelogenous leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia have its own staging system. However, there is no universal staging system for hairy cell leukemia.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
The staging system of chronic lymphocytic leukemia used in the United States is called Rai staging system. The system divides CLL into 5 stages (0-IV), based on lymphocytosis, the extent of the enlarged lymph nodes, spleen, or liver and red blood cell and platelet counts.
The Rai stages are further divided into low- (stage 0), intermediate- (stages I and II), and high-risk (stages III and IV) groups to determine your treatment options.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Doctors call the stages of CML phases. CML is divided into 3 phases based mainly on the number of immature white blood cells seen in the blood or bone marrow. The system we talk about here is proposed by the World Health Organization.
- Chronic phase
It is the common phase when patients are diagnosed. These patients have no or mild symptoms. Standard treatments usually works.
- Accelerated phase
In this phase, patients have symptoms like fever, poor appetite, and weight loss. The disease does not respond to treatment as well as that in the chronic phase.
- Blast phase (also known as acute phase or blast crisis)
In this phase, patients often have fever, poor appetite, and weight loss. The disease acts quite like an aggressive acute leukemia.
Keywords: chronic leukemia stages