Diagnosing Leukaemia

Getting diagnosed

Depending on the type of leukaemia, symptoms can develop gradually or quickly.

Either way, seeing your GP straight away will help you get the right treatment if you need it. And it may put your mind at ease if a different cause is found.

If your GP suspects leukaemia, they will order some blood tests. Then, if these tests suggest that leukaemia is a possibility, they will refer you to a hospital leukaemia specialist (a consultant haematologist or oncologist).

Your specialist will examine you and carry out further tests to confirm the diagnosis. You can read more in our information about the different kinds of tests for leukaemia.

Because leukaemia affects your body’s ability to fight infections, in some people the first sign is a sudden and possibly severe illness with a fever. When this happens, leukaemia might be first diagnosed when you’re in A&E.

When you’re waiting to find out the results, and if you hear a diagnosis of leukaemia, lots of support is available. You don’t have to face it alone – find out more in our information on who can help.