Childhood Leukemia

Diagnosing Childhood Leukemia

If a child has symptoms that suggest childhood leukemia, the physician may first order blood tests. A sample of blood is examined to determine:
  • The number of normal blood cells
  • What the cells look like
  • If any leukemia cells are present in the blood.
For a definitive diagnosis of childhood leukemia, a doctor who specializes in leukemia will examine a sample of bone marrow under a microscope. The sample is obtained by a procedure called bone marrow aspiration. In this procedure, the doctor will insert a needle into a large bone, usually the hip, and remove a small amount of liquid bone marrow for examination.
If leukemia cells are found in the bone marrow sample, the patient's doctor will order other tests to find out the extent of the disease. For example, a spinal tap, which is also called a lumbar puncture, is used to check for leukemia cells in the cerebrospinal fluid, which is the fluid that fills the spaces in and around the brain and spinal cord.

Treatment Options

You can learn more about the specific childhood leukemia treatment options by going to the full eMedTV articles on Childhood ALL Treatment and Childhood AML Treatment.

Other Names for Childhood Leukemia

Acute myelogenous leukemia is also called:
  • AML
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Acute myeloblastic leukemia
  • Acute granulocytic leukemia
  • Acute non-lymphocytic leukemia.
Other names for acute lymphocytic leukemia include:
  • ALL
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Acute lymphatic leukemia
  • Acute lymphocyte leukemia
  • Acute lymphoid leukemia. 
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Child Leukemia

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