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What are the stages of chronic leukemia?

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Quick Answer

Chronic leukemia has five stages classified as 0 to 4, each with its set of characteristics and symptoms, says the National Cancer Institute. Tests are done after the initial diagnosis to determine the stage and the proper treatment required,

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Full Answer

Stage 0 is classified by too many lymphocytes in the blood and no other symptoms, according to the National Cancer Institute. This stage is indolent, which means it is slow-growing. In stage 1, there are too many lymphocytes in the blood, and the lymph nodes are larger than normal. In stage 2, there are the same conditions as in stage 1, and in addition, the liver and the spleen are also enlarged. These same conditions are present in stage 3, but also there are too few red blood cells in the blood.

The final stage of lymphocytic leukemia is complicated by too few platelets in the blood in addition to the other symptoms, states the National Cancer Institute. To determine the stage after the initial diagnosis, a variety of tests are performed including a chest X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging and CT scan. Other important tests conducted to determine the stage are blood chemistry tests that determine whether some substances are higher than normal in the blood and antiglobulin tests that check or antibodies on the surface of red blood cells and platelets.

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