Diagnosing Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
To diagnose leukemia, physicians perform a number of tests. Typically, doctors begin with a blood test (called a CBC, or total blood count). Although the blood test may show leukemia cells, physicians need to take a look at a sample of bone marrow prior to validating the specific medical diagnosis. This sample is obtained by carrying out a bone marrow aspirate, where doctors take a percentage of fluid from the bone marrow, where blood cells are made. Then they examine the fluid under a microscopic lense to validate the type of cancer prior to they begin treatment.
An additional test that may be carried out along with the bone marrow aspirate is a bone marrow biopsy. A bone marrow biopsy may help in making a diagnosis when there are too few cells in the aspirate sample.
A spine tap is typically carried out to look for leukemia in the main nerve system. Following these tests, your doctor will ask the lab to perform cytogenetic tests (tests that inspect the leukemia’s chromosomes for mistakes, also called anomalies). Not all chromosome mutations are easily found and sometimes they can only be seen utilizing effective lab techniques called molecular analysis (tests that look inside the chromosomes for very tiny mistakes). These small molecular anomalies of the chromosomes might have an effective impact upon the capability to be cured and have actually recently ended up being the target of brand-new medical treatments of leukemia. Based upon the chromosomal findings, your doctor can diagnosis the subtype of AML and can make a preliminary prognosis (forecast) for the chances of remission and long-lasting treatment.