Staging is how cancers are categorized. Staging indicates that the size or extent of spread of the cancer, the degree to which other parts of the body are affected, along with other critical details. In general, leukemias are classified rather than staged as a way to determine the most suitable therapy.
Blood tests: Blood is drawn from a vein in order to inspect the blood cell counts. In most cases of leukemia, the white blood cell count is unnatural – either very low, or more generally, quite high and the platelet and red cell counts are reduced. This makes the healthcare professional consider leukemia as the identification. Other tests are performed to check kidney and liver functions as well as the potential presence of leukemic cells in the spinal fluid.
Biopsy: Because other conditions may contribute to atypical white cell counts, the only way to verify the diagnosis of leukemia is through an aspirate and biopsy of the bone marrow.
All leukemias are grouped according to their genotypes, or their particular chromosomal structures, which also enables the doctors to determine risk factors. Today analyzing of surface markers on leukemia cells by flow cytometry also will help classify the type of leukemia existing.
Since the symptoms of leukemia are the causes are not clearly defined, one’s health care professional will carry out a comprehensive history and physical exam along with some other appropriate tests to be able to identify the underlying cause.