Full history and complete physical examination. The doctor will examine the child and assess his health status and look for signs of the disease, such as pallor, bleeding tendencies, presence of enlarged liver, spleen, lymph nodes or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
If Leukemia is suspected, the doctor will ask for a Complete Blood Count (CBC). A CBC measures the number of white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet count in a sample of blood. A blood smear will be done on the same sample to look for presence of any abnormal white cell or “blast”.
If the blood test is suggestive or suspicious of Leukemia, a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy will have to be carried out to confirm the diagnosis and type of Leukemia. This involves the insertion of a needle into the posterior hipbone to obtain a sample of the marrow and a small piece of bone. A hematologist views the bone marrow samples under a microscope to look for presence of Leukemia cells. This test is is essential to diagnose Leukemia.
Additional test are then carried out on this sample to determine the specific type or subtype of Leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis is also done to look for any abnormal chromosomes in the leukaemic cells. These tests will help the doctor in planning treatment for the child.
Updated:: 13/09/2021 
CLINICAL AND CANCER RESOURCE EDUCATION UNIT (CCARE)
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