The main disease types are:
- acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
- acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
Patients with acute leukaemia usually present with marrow failure (anaemia, infections, bleeding) and tissue infiltration from the tumour cells (mediastinal mass, hepatosplenomegaly, gum or skin infiltration).
Chronic leukaemia may often be detected by chance from a blood test taken for other reasons. Some patients will have enlarged organs (such as the liver or spleen), enlarged lymph glands, recurrent infections or raised uric acid levels.
We offer a specialist clinic for patients with chronic lymphatic leukaemia run by Professor Stephen Devereux from King's College Hospital, who is an international expert in this field.
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is diagnosed on blood and marrow examination, including cytogenetic evaluation. It is a pre-leukaemic disease that exists in both indolent (slow developing) and aggressive (quick developing) forms.
Patients usually present with one or more of the following:
- recurrent infections
- iron overload
Your appointment will be in one of our clinics.
Many patients, especially those with acute leukaemia, will be admitted directly to the ward from home, the day unit or another hospital. They will be referred to clinic when they have been discharged from the ward.
Primary referrals for suspected leukaemia
These should be made using the two week wait system. The haematology laboratory will usually have identified potential cases and informed the GP by telephone (acute myeloid leukaemia – refer for direct admission) or via a comment on the blood count report (chronic myeloid leukaemia – refer to a clinic).
Other primary referrals include:
- unexplained macrocytosis
- unexplained anaemia, neutropenia or thrombocytopenia
- recurrent infections
Unspecified referrals are assessed by the department and allocated to the most appropriate clinic.
Secondary and tertiary referrals
Please address referrals to a named consultant using the contact information on the general haematology referrals page.
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