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How is chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) diagnosed?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

A variety of procedures including blood and genetic tests are used to diagnose chronic myelogenous leukemia. Blood tests called complete blood counts reveal abnormal numbers of white blood cells. A test called bone marrow aspiration uses a needle to remove marrow from the hipbone for analysis. Genetic tests take these blood and bone marrow samples and look for the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome and the gene it produces.

To diagnose chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), also called chronic myeloid leukemia, doctors will do some tests. A blood test shows if there are too many wrong white blood cells in the bloodstream.

The doctors may also look at the stem cells. For this, a needle is used to remove stem cells from the bone marrow in the hip bone. Once doctors know it’s CML for sure, they can begin treatment.

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