Tests to diagnose leukaemia
These are some of the common tests for leukaemia.
Your doctor will take samples of your blood to check your full blood count. This measures the number of each type of cell in your blood: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. They may also do other tests on your blood to see if your cells are healthy, and to check how well your liver and kidneys are working.
Bone marrow biopsy
You may need a bone marrow biopsy, where a sample of bone marrow is removed – usually from your hip. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found inside some of your bones, and it’s where the body makes blood cells. A sample will be removed and checked under a microscope.
Scans (or imaging)
Doctors can use blood samples or bone marrow samples to look at proteins on the surface of your cells. This is also called immunophenotype analysis or flow cytometry. It can help spot abnormal cells.
These are tests to look for changes to the genes in your cells, which could indicate leukaemia. This is also sometimes called cytogenetics.
General health and infection screening
You may also have other tests to check your general health, and tests to check for conditions such as HIV or Hepatitis B and C.
Find more specific information about tests by choosing a type of leukaemia
Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions