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Tests for CLL

You usually start by seeing your GP if you have symptoms. They examine you and might refer you for tests or to a blood specialist (haematologist).

You might have one or more of these tests to diagnose chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and throughout treatment to see how it is working.

Blood tests for CLL

You have a number of different blood tests to help diagnose CLL. You have regular blood tests throughout treatment.

Bone marrow test for CLL

Rarely, your specialist may want to look at a sample of bone marrow as well as a blood sample. This test checks whether there are cancer cells in your bone marrow.

Test for gene changes

This test helps doctors choose treatment more effectively.

Chest x-ray for CLL

You might have a chest x-ray to check your general health. Find out what happens when you have an x-ray.

Ultrasound scan for CLL

An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound waves to create a picture of a part of the body. You might have one to check your liver and spleen.

CT scan for CLL

A CT scan is a test that uses x-rays and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body. 

Testing your lymph nodes for CLL

Your doctors might test your lymph nodes to find out more about your CLL. This test is called a fine needle aspiration or needle biopsy. 

Last reviewed: 
18 Sep 2020
Next review due: 
18 Sep 2023
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