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If you are experiencing any signs and symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) your doctor should perform the following tests to confirm it is CLL. As well, the following tests will help identify the stage and type of the disease to help determine the best treatment plan for the patient.

Common Tests for CLL

  • Complete blood count (CBC) with differential
    • Looks at a sample of the patient's blood under a microscope to see if CLL cells are crowding out other types of blood cells (red blood cells, platelets, and other types of white blood cells). Read more about the CBC test for CLL patients here -  Tests for CLL Patients - Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) 
    • Checks for CLL cells by looking for chromosome deletions in B-cells. A B-cell is labeled as CLL if it has a certain combination of chromosome deletions. To read more about how a FISH test is completed, see here - What Makes it CLL? A Look at Chromosome Deletions
  • Flow cytometry
  • DNA sequencing
    • Checks for high-risk and low-risk gene mutations which influence the progression rate of the cancer and affect treatment decicions

Uncommon Tests for CLL

  • Bone marrow biopsy/aspirate - check for the number of CLL cells in the bone marrow to help determine the progression of the disease. 

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