Classification of the leukemia plays a major role in determining both treatment options and a child’s outlook (prognosis). Determining its type (acute lymphocytic, acute myeloid, etc.) and subtype is done by testing samples of the blood, bone marrow, and sometimes lymph nodes or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Most types of cancers are assigned numbered stages to describe their extent in the body, based on the size of the tumor and how far the cancer has spread. But leukemia is not staged like most other cancers. It starts in the bone marrow and quickly spreads to the blood, so leukemia cells are already scattered throughout the body. Still, it is important to know whether the leukemia cells have started to collect in other organs such as the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, testicles, or central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
How is childhood leukemia classified?
Source: American cancer society
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