Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and Gout

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a kind of cancer that affects blood cells. The term ‘chronic’ means that this disease develops slowly over time. On the other hand, there is also a condition called acute myelogenous leukemia (ACL), it is more likely to develop aggressively (in rapid progression). And in rare cases, a gout attack may indicate the existence of CML.

Understanding chronic myelogenous leukemia in general

Like most things in cancer, CML is more likely to respond well to the treatment when it is treated at early stage. That’s why, it is crucial to catch the existence of this cancer as early as possible. If you experience any symptom that worries you, see your physician promptly!

Symptoms

The bad news, the early symptoms of CML is often vague. Even many sufferers can live with it for many months /even years without knowing the existence of it.

image_illustration252The symptoms may include:

  1. Fever.
  2. Fatigue or feeling run-down.
  3. Unexplained weight loss.
  4. Changes in appetite, specifically appetite loss.
  5. Excessive night sweats such as during sleep.
  6. Easier to have bleeding.
  7. Pain or abdominal fullness (distension) on the left side.
  8. Pale skin.

Causes

This kind of cancer is thought as a consequence from something wrong with genes of blood cells. There is still no explanation for the exactly cause of why this process occurs.

But some theories have been proposed to explain how it progresses to become chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Risk factors

Although CML may be related to the genetic abnormality of blood cells, but experts believe that it doesn’t run in families. The mutation of chromosome that causes CML may develop after birth.

Being male is a risk factor of this disease. Yap, it affects more men, that’s why men are at higher risk than women to have CML. Other risk factors are age and radiation exposure (like taking radiation therapy to treat other types of cancer).

The link between chronic myelogenous leukemia and gout

As well we know, gout is a type of arthritis that occurs due to a result from high uric acid in the body that move to and stay in the joint. Over time, the accumulation of uric acid deposits can be crystals (needle-like crystals), causing inflammation in the joint what we call as a gout attack.

If you are supposed to have a gout attack, a joint fluid test is commonly used to diagnose the existence of gouty arthritis. The sample of fluid around the joint is taken and then you doctor can closely examine it under special microscope.

If necessary, you may be asked to take a blood test, too! It is used to check the level of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is a breakdown product from purine, a protein that can be found naturally in certain foods.

But uric acid can be produced and derived from the natural breakdown of your cells, too. If you have chronic myelogenous leukemia, you are greater risk of having rapid cell turnover, increasing your uric acid level and putting you at high risk of gout.

Furthermore, some treatments for cancer can have an effect in triggering your uric acid to elevate.

For instance, while the use of chemotherapy can help shrink and kill cancerous cells, but this killing process can produce purine (since purine can be a breakdown product of cell, too – as noted before). To cope with this, doctor can prescribe certain medicines to keep uric acid low!

However, not all people with CML develop gout. Even some people with high uric acid never experience any gout attack! And again, CML is uncommon condition. All these things suggest that CMS in people with gout is not common and very rare, but having CML can increase the risk of gout attack.