Tests and next steps for chronic myeloid leukaemia

Main tests for chronic myeloid leukaemia

If the GP refers you to a specialist (haematologist), you may need some tests to check for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).

Tests may include:

If you have a bone marrow biopsy, you'll usually have a local anaesthetic to stop you feeling any pain. You may also be given medicine to help you relax (sedation).

Getting your results

It can take a few weeks to get the results of your tests.

Try not to worry if your results are taking a long time to get to you. It does not definitely mean anything is wrong.

You can call the hospital or GP if you're worried. They should be able to give you an update on when you'll get your results.

When you get your test results, a specialist will explain what they mean and what will happen next.

If you're told you have CML

Hearing that you have CML can feel overwhelming. You may be feeling anxious about what will happen next.

A group of specialists will look after you throughout the diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

The team includes a clinical nurse specialist (also called a specialist haematology nurse). They will be your main point of contact during and after treatment.

If you have any questions, the clinical nurse specialist will be able to help.

Macmillan Cancer Support has a free helpline that's open every day from 8am to 8pm.

They're there to listen if you have anything you want to talk about.

Call 0808 808 0000.

Next steps

If you've been told you have CML, you usually need more tests.

Tests may include:

The specialist team uses the results to find out which phase your CML is in (this is called staging).

There are 3 phases of CML:

The team will talk to you about options and decide on the best treatment plan based on the phase of your CML.

Find out more