We're here for you if you want to talk

0808 2080 888

[email protected]

Leukaemia tests for diagnosis

We're here for you if you want to talk

0808 2080 888

[email protected]

These are some of the common tests for leukaemia.

Blood tests

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)

You may have scans like MRI scans, CT scans, PET scans, ultrasound scans or x-rays. These are all done in different ways, but they all create detailed pictures of the inside of your body.


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.

Genetic tests

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

Paul living with blood cancer taking some time out

Just diagnosed?

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions

Just diagnosed