The skinny on CML

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 6:43 AM ET

WHAT IS IT?

According to Maple Leafs team physician Dr. Noah Forman, chronic myelogenous leukemia is a form of blood cancer: "Which is a slow growing cancer of the white blood cells. It has an incidence of 500 new cases diagnosed each year in Canada. It is caused by an abnormal chromosome of cells in the body's bone marrow."

WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT WILL BLAKE RECEIVE?

Every day he will take a pill known as Gleevec which, according to Dr. Forman, is referred to in the medical community as "The Magic Bullet." That, for the time being, is all he needs to treat the ailment. He also will undergo weekly blood tests for at least six months. A bone marrow transplant also is an option down the road if the condition digresses.

WILL HE BE ABLE TO LEAD A NORMAL LIFE?

His attending physicians certainly hope so, although there are no guarantees when cancer is involved. Dr. Forman refers to Blake's prognosis as "outstanding," noting that the speedy winger is "in no immediate danger as he is in the chronic phase of the disease." Blake will "be able to play fully with the team and will be monitored closely by both the team's physician and CML specialist."


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