These are not very specific: Usually marked by tiredness, anaemia, loss of appetite.
Who is affected by the condition?
This disease has a low incidence (1-1.5/100,000 pop./yr) and low mortality (more than 90% survival in the last 5 years). It mostly affects middle-aged people (40-50 years), although it can occur at any age.
A physical examination often reveals spleen growth. Blood tests show a very significant increase in white blood cells and bone marrow aspiration should be conducted to confirm. Genetic and molecular biology tests are also conducted.
The treatment most used is tyrosine-kinase inhibitors. It is an oral, chronic and relatively well tolerated treatment, including Imatinib: it is the first drug that was described, and the most commonly used. Side effects include submalar skin pigmentation (aesthetic problems), nausea and vomiting, which are often mild.
As there is some resistance to this drug, new drugs need to be developed to stop the other proliferation pathways of the affected cells.
Physical examination, blood test, bone marrow aspiration.
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