generate awareness regarding Leukemia, specifically on CML
About 4,570 people in the United States will learn they have chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in 2007 in the United States. About 21,501 people in the United States are living with CML (SEER, National Cancer Institute, 2007). The progress that has been made in treating CML gives patients more hope than ever before.
Leukemia is a type of cancer. There are four main types of leukemia. CML is one of the four types. CML starts with a change to a single stem cell. Both children and adults can get CML, but most CML patients are adults.
CML results from an acquired change to the DNA of a stem cell in the marrow. This change is not present at birth. Scientists do not yet understand what produces this change in the DNA.
In chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), the leukemia cell that starts the disease makes blood cells (red cells, white cells and platelets) that function almost like normal cells. The number of red cells is usually less than normal, resulting in anemia. But many white cells and sometimes many platelets are still made. Even though the white cells are nearly normal in how they work, their counts are high and continue to rise. This can cause serious problems if the patient does not get treatment. If untreated, the white cell count can rise so high that blood flow slows down and anemia becomes severe.
CML patients have what is called the "Philadelphia Chromosome" (Ph chromosome). Every cell with a nucleus has chromosomes. The Ph chromosome is made as the result of a piece of chromosome 22 breaking off. With CML, there is a switch in pieces of chromosome 9 and 22. The break on chromosome 9 involves a gene called "ABL." The break on chromosome 22 involves a gene called "BCR."
A piece of chromosome 9 attaches to the end of chromosome 22 and the BCR-ABL cancer gene is made. The BCR-ABL cancer gene gives the cell instructions to make a protein that leads to CML.
1. Hope for a cure.
2. Generate Awareness.
3. a group for all those affected by CML in one way or another to reach out to the world.