Understanding Your Diagnosis
Doctors use several different lab and imaging tests to help detect (diagnose) a blood cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes or myeloproliferative disease). You may need to undergo additional tests to confirm your diagnosis.
Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor may need to test you for certain genetic, cellular or molecular characteristics that will help him or her treat you for your exact diagnosis.
Understanding your diagnosis will help you:
- be better prepared to communicate with your doctor and treatment team
- be able to ask informative questions about the risks and benefits of certain therapies
- make informed decisions about your treatment
- have a greater understanding of future scientific advances in blood cancer treatment and improvements in quality of life for survivors
Knowing a bit about normal blood and marrow and the lymphatic system can help you better understand your disease and diagnosis. The following pages provide brief descriptions of each as well as descriptions of diagnostic lab and imaging tests you may need to undergo.
More to Explore
- How to communicate with your specialist
- Questions to ask your doctor
- How to read a research study
- Explore The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS's) free education series, featuring the latest information about each disease type and treatment options
- Download or order LLS's free disease and treatment guides