Tests that look closely at unusual cells,
chromosomes, or proteins on cells can show what type
or subtype of leukemia you have. These tests include:
A test that looks for certain changes in the cell chromosomes from a sample of blood or bone marrow (cytogenetic analysis).
A test that compares cancer cells to normal blood cells to find the specific kind of leukemia (immunophenotyping).
A test to look for genes that are "turned on" in several types of leukemia, such as acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). This test is called a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test, or RT-PCR.
These tests can help guide treatment. Sometimes they can help your doctor and you know whether your leukemia is likely to go into remission or come back. In some cases, the tests can predict survival rates.
Your doctor may also
order other tests, including:
Chest X-rays, to find out if leukemia or an infection
is the cause of lung problems such as persistent coughing, coughing up blood,
chest pain, or trouble breathing.
CT scan of the head, chest, and belly, to find out
if leukemia has spread there.
MRI of the brain, to look into symptoms such as
confusion, paralysis, numbness, vision problems, vertigo, or headaches. Those
symptoms could mean that leukemia has spread to the brain.
biopsy of a lymph node or other tissues, to
look for leukemia cells.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this