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Surgery for Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML)

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Surgery is rarely used to treat chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), because the leukemia cells are throughout the body.

Sometimes, surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy) may be an option if it is enlarged, causing problems, and other treatments aren't helpful.

Like all surgery, this has risks related to anesthesia, bleeding, and wound infection. Also, since the spleen helps protect against infection, removing it can increase the risk of severe infections. If you are considering having your spleen removed, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. You may also need to get vaccines to help prevent certain infections if you're going to have your spleen removed.

To learn more about surgery in general, see Cancer Surgery.

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.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines): Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Version 1.2024. Accessed at on May 18, 2024. 

Padron E. Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia: Management and prognosis. UpToDate. 2024. Accessed at on May 18, 2024.

Last Revised: May 21, 2024

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