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Survival Rates for Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia

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There is more than one way to describe a person’s likely prognosis (outlook). The statistics below talk about median survival. Median survival is the amount of time for half the patients in a group to die. This is a middle value -- half the patients live longer than this, and half do not live this long.

In order to get median survival estimates, doctors have to look at people who were treated several years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for people now being diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML).

Median survival estimates are based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot predict what will happen in any particular person’s case. Many other factors may affect a person’s outlook, such as their age and overall health. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you, as they are familiar with the aspects of your particular situation.

Patients with CMML-1 tend to live longer than those with CMML-2. In one study of CMML patients diagnosed between 1975 and 2005, the median survival times with CMML-1 and CMML-2 were 20 months and 15 months, respectively. However, some patients lived much longer. About 20% of CMML-1 patients and about 10%  of CMML-2 patients survived longer than 5 years. Also, patients with CMML-2 are more likely to go on to develop acute leukemia than patients with CMML-1. In the same study, 18% of CMML-1 patients and 63% of CMML-2 patients developed acute myeloid leukemia within 5 years of their CMML diagnosis.

In addition to the type of CMML, other factors may be helpful in predicting survival. These include blood cell counts, certain chromosome changes, and blood levels of LDH (lactate dehydrogenase).

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: October 25, 2017

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