Myeloid (leukaemia)

Myeloid cancer is a type of leukaemia that affects your white blood cells. There are two types of myeloid leukaemia:

  • acute, which means the condition progresses rapidly and aggressively and you need immediate treatment
  • chronic, which means the condition progresses slowly, over many years.

Myeloid dysplastic syndrome (MDS) and myeloid proliferative neoplasm (MPN) are both forms of chronic myeloid cancer.

NHS Choices has more information about:

What to expect at your appointment

Your first appointment at hospital may take between 45 minutes and two hours. You may have tests and investigations on the same day or at a later date.

You will see one of our consultants who specialises in blood cancer. They will ask you about your symptoms and your general health and may examine you. You will have a range blood tests on the same day to find out the degree of your bone marrow failure.

You usually have a bone marrow test at King’s on another day, even though you may have already had one at your local hospital. This is because our test is more detailed and will tell us more about your condition and the treatment you need. Your consultant may also be able to tell you the results of any tests you have already had.

You will meet the clinical nurse specialist who will be your key worker during your appointment . They will explain your test and treatment options and support you and your family.

At the end of your appointment, your doctor will tell you which tests or investigations you need. They will also give you written information that you can take away to read at home about the type of cancer you have, your treatment options, and other sources of support, such as King's Macmillian Information and Support Centre.

Your consultant normally discusses you care plan with you at your second consultation, after the specialist team has reviewed all your test results.

We usually send you appointment letters for tests, investigations or treatments by post.

Tests and investigations

At your first appointment you may have one or more of the following tests at King's or you be asked to return at a later date to have them. They help us to find out whether you have cancer and to assess your treatment options. They include:

  • blood tests
  • bone marrow aspiration and thephine biopsy
  • other tests depending on how ill you are and whether you have an enlarged spleen or liver.

We also collect extra samples for research, with your permission. This includes your bone marrow, blood, a mouthwash and a skin biopsy taken from the site where you had the local anaesthetic for your bone marrow test.

If we think you might need a stem cell transplant in the future, we will also take samples for tissue typing. These are sent to the Anthony Nolan Trust. We may also ask other family members, usually your brothers and sisters, to be tested as well, in case they may be suitable stem cell donors.

Treatments

Your care and treatment depends on the type cancer you have, its size and where it is, how far it has advanced (the stage) and your overall health. The final decision about what treatment you have is yours.

After our team of specialists reviews the results of your tests and investigations, we will arrange an appointment so you can discuss your treatment options with your consultant and clinical nurse specialist.

Your treatment may include:

Who to contact

At your first appointment, we will tell you who your key worker is, and how and when you can contact them. Your key worker is usually a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).

Myeloid clinical nurse specialists

Geke Ong, Janet Hayden and Joanna Large
Tel: +44 (0)20 3299 5767
Pager number: call +44 (0)20 3299 9000 and ask for pager KH 0125
Email: geke.ong@nhs.net or janethayden@nhs.net
Available: Monday and Wednesday 8am – 4.30pm;
Tuesday 8am – 2.30pm;
Thursday and Friday 8am – 5pm

Other useful contacts

Michelle Kenyon, post-allogeneic transplant co-ordinator: +44 (0)20 3299 4385

Urgent queries
  • Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm, call the Chemotherapy Day Unit on +44 (0)20 3299 1465
  • Outside office hours, call +44 (0)20 3299 9000 and ask for the Haematology Specialist Registrar on call
Non-clinical support

For practical queries you can contact the Macmillan Centre at King’s on +44 (0)20 3299 5228, 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Please note the Macmillan Centre cannot help with medical queries, as there are no nurses based at the Centre.

Our team

Your care will be provided by a group of experts called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals specialising in treating your type of cancer. You can discuss your care with them and ask them any questions you have about your treatment. Our team members include:

Consultant Haematologists
  • Dr Momin Ahmed
  • Dr Robin Ireland
  • Dr Kulasekararaj
  • Prof Judith Marsh
  • Dr Donal McLornan
  • Prof Ghulam Mufti
  • Dr Victoria Potter
  • Dr Kavita Raj

How we support you

We want to make sure that you get all the assistance you need to live well with – and after – cancer. There’s a wide range of support available to help you cope with cancer, including physical, emotional and practical advice for you, your family, friends and carers.