What Tests Do Doctors Use to Diagnose Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?


Quick Answer

Tests used to diagnose acute lymphocytic leukemia include a complete blood count along with bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, notes the American Cancer Society. These tests allow doctors to look at and count cells and note any abnormalities if cancer is suspected.

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Full Answer

Sometimes testing is inconclusive, and other tests, such as cytochemistry, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, may be needed, according to the American Cancer Society. Cytogenics may be used to look at chromosomes, and fluorescent in situ hybridization is sometimes used to look at genes. Another test called polymerase chain reaction looks at changes in specific genes. Sometimes a lumbar puncture test, often referred to as a spinal tap, is used to find out if ALL has spread.

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