Leukemia stages vary based on disease type. And, some of the leukemias may be broken out into subtypes during the staging process.
The acute types of leukemia (AML and ALL), are sometimes staged based on the type of cell involved and how the cells look under a microscope. This is called the French-American-British (FAB) classification system.
Lymphocytic leukemias (CLL and ALL) occur in a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. The white blood cell count at the time of diagnosis may be used to help stage the leukemia. Likewise, staging for myeloid leukemias (CML and AML) is based on the number of myeloblasts (immature white blood cells) found in the blood or bone marrow.
Factors affecting leukemia staging and prognosis
- White blood cell or platelet count
- Age (advanced age may negatively affect prognosis)
- History of prior blood disorders
- Chromosome mutations or abnormalities
- Bone damage
- Enlarged liver or spleen