There are multiple types of leukemia and additional classifications within those types. An accurate diagnosis of the specific type of leukemia is critical to developing an effective treatment plan.
At UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, we diagnose and treat all types of leukemia, including acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and myelodysplasia (pre-leukemia).
The Diagnostic Process
People with chronic leukemia often experience no symptoms, and many patients are diagnosed after having blood work done for another reason. Acute leukemia, on the other hand, can cause symptoms that quickly arise and get worse.
If leukemia is suspected based on a physical exam and symptoms, we'll order additional tests that include:
- Blood analysis, which assesses the numbers, types, and shapes of blood cells, as well as other characteristics that could indicate leukemia
- Bone marrow biopsy to detect leukemia cells in the bone marrow, and then testing the leukemia cells for mutations that will help guide the discussion on therapy and prognosis.
At UT Southwestern, we work with specialized pathologists called hematopathologists who are uniquely trained to identify and classify blood cancers.