Testing for leukemia

Is there a simple blood test that could check whether my daughter has leukemia? She’s prone to bruising and injuries, and during our weekend visitations, she’s pale, exhausted and spends a lot of time just de-stressing and sleeping. Unfortunately, leukemia does run in my family: My uncle’s son has had it, and it was one of the things that afflicted my uncle’s father in his old age.

Yes, leukemia is usually diagnosed with a simple blood test called a complete blood count (CBC), in which a blood smear is reviewed under the microscope by a pathologist or technician. It can often be done in the office or a local lab, with the results available almost immediately.

It sounds as though your daughter has been ill for some time and that you obviously have concerns about her health. I would suggest that you see your pediatrician for a complete examination. Discuss your daughter’s symptoms and your concerns. Many of the symptoms you describe are nonspecific (such as fatigue) and can be caused by a number of things, including stress. So don’t panic, but don’t sit at home wondering and worrying whether there is a major problem.

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