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If you think you have some of the symptoms of ALL you should go to your GP. They can talk to you about your symptoms and arrange any tests they think might be needed.
Your GP (family doctor) will examine you and arrange for you to have blood tests. There can be different reasons for your symptoms, so you’ll need to have a blood test to help diagnose acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). If you have ALL, a blood test will usually find leukaemia cells and you'll be referred to a specialist at the hospital.
This specialist is called a haematologist, who is a doctor who treats people with blood disorders.
The haematologist will examine you and ask you about your symptoms and any recent illnesses. They will also arrange for you to have some more tests. These may include:
If you have ALL, you might need a few more tests to check how your body is working in general. These could be blood tests, or an ultrasound scan of the tummy (abdomen) to look at your liver, spleen and kidneys.
This may seem like a lot of tests, but they give the doctors important information that will help them give you the right treatment.
Waiting for test results can be a scary time, but understanding a little about them - what will happen, how you'll feel and when you'll get the results - can help you cope. Thinking about how you feel and getting support from family, friends or your specialist nurse and doctor can also make it a bit easier. You could also talk to a cancer support specialist| on our free helpline.
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Content last reviewed: 1 August 2012
Next planned review: 2014
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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