Diagnostic tests for leukemia.

One of the most important steps in leukemia treatment is determining what type of leukemia you have. Some types of leukemia require immediate attention, while others may only need to be observed over the course of years.

An accurate diagnosis of leukemia can also help to determine what treatment is most likely to work best, such as chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant.

At the Wilmot Cancer Center, we have on-site hematopathologists who are sub-specialists in leukemia. This means they are experts at analyzing blood and tissue samples from patients. By focusing on the pathology of hematologic malignancies  almost exclusively, our hematopathologists have developed an exceptional level of expertise in diagnosing this disease.


Diagnostic tests for leukemia

Blood tests are used to determine if you have an abnormal number of white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets.

Bone marrow biopsy is a sampling of the cells within your bone marrow. It is usually performed with a thin needle that is used to extract a sample of cells while you are under local anesthesia. The sample is then examined by a hematopathologist—a specialist in examining blood cells.

Cytogenetic/Micorarray analysis may be used to look at chromosomes from blood samples to see if there are certain mutations present in leukemia cells. This can help to determine your type of leukemia and identify the best treatment.

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