Leukemia Diagnosis & Detection
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Video: The Importance of Accurately Diagnosing & Staging CancerLearn about the importance of an accurate cancer diagnosis.
The Importance of Accurately Diagnosing & Staging Cancer
Dr. Timothy McCay explains why it’s important for doctors to accurately diagnose and stage each patient’s cancer.
When you arrive at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), our team of cancer doctors will use an array of tests and tools to ensure that you receive an accurate leukemia diagnosis, including identifying the type and stage of the disease. This helps us formulate an individualized treatment plan that is best suited to you.
Throughout your leukemia treatment, we’ll use advanced imaging and laboratory tests to monitor the disease and measure your response to treatment. Since we often get imaging results the same day and biopsy results within 24 hours, we can quickly modify your treatment plan to better target the disease.
Imaging and Diagnostic Tests for Leukemia
Diagnosing leukemia usually begins with a medical history, physical examination and blood test. During the physical exam, your doctor may check for signs of pale skin, bruising, swollen lymph nodes or an enlarged spleen. A complete blood count (CBC) is one of several common tests for leukemia. It measures the amount of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood.
Your CTCA care team may also use other leukemia detection tests to plan and monitor your treatment:
- Biopsy – Removal of a small amount of tissue to determine the type of leukemia, the growth rate of the tumor and whether the disease has spread
- Bone marrow biopsy – removal of a sample of bone marrow
- Lymph node biopsy – removal of all or part of a lymph node
- Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) – Removal of cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal cavity in the lower back to determine the extent of the disease.
- Flow Cytometry – A test which passes cancerous cells (stained with a light-sensitive dye) under a laser beam to determine whether the cells contain a normal or abnormal amount of DNA, and the relative rate at which a tumor is growing.
- Liver Function Test – A group of blood tests used to measure the amounts of certain enzymes released by the liver in response to damage or disease. An abnormal liver function test may indicate the presence of a disease like leukemia.
- Imaging Tests – Tests that use imaging technologies to produce pictures of the inside of the body.
These leukemia detection tests can provide information about the extent of leukemia in the body, and the presence of infections or other problems.
- CT scan
- PET/CT scan
- 2D Echocardiogram (sometimes)
- Pulmonary Function Test (sometimes)
Leukemia Diagnosis and Treatment Options
To learn more about CTCA cancer hospitals and our approach to diagnosing leukemia and treating the disease, call us anytime at 1-800-615-3055 or Chat Online. We're available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to listen and help you decide if CTCA is right for you.
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