What else does the pathologist look for?
If necessary, a hematologist (a specialist in blood diseases) or pathologist will obtain a specimen of bone marrow – by inserting a needle into your hipbone or breastbone. The pathologist examines this specimen under a microscope, looking for abnormal cells. Your pathologist may also do a cytogenic analysis, examining the specimen for changes to blood cell chromosomes, since chromosomal abnormalities are associated with leukemia. Another diagnostic test the pathologist conducts is immunophenotyping. During this test, the pathologist compares the leukemia cells to normal cells of the immune system to determine the subtype of AML. To determine whether or not the cancer has spread, your physician may order a chest x-ray, lumbar puncture (which collects fluid from the spinal column), or other x-ray scans. How do doctors determine treatment will be necessary? The pathologist consults with your primary care physician and hematologist/oncologist after reviewing the test results. Together, usi