Diagnosing and Treating Stages of Leukemia in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey

Most cancers consist of tumors, or lumps of abnormal cells that grow unchecked by the body. Leukemia, however, is cancer that begins in the marrow of the bones and affects white blood cells, which then carry the disease throughout the body. Because of this, doctors stage leukemia, or describe its progression, differently than with other cancers. In addition, there are four distinct types of leukemia that act and progress differently, leading to several different staging conventions.

Regional Cancer Care Associates offers comprehensive cancer care services throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey that can help you understand how leukemia stages work. Our oncologists are expert at monitoring, diagnosing, and effectively treating the disease.

Patient Talking With DoctorAcute Lymphocytic Leukemia Stages

Because acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) involves immature white blood cells originating in bone marrow, doctors describe the disease’s stage by factoring in the subtype of ALL and the patient’s age. Staging is as follows:

ALL Staging with B Cells

B cells are produced and mature in the bone marrow and play an important role in the immune system by recognizing and attacking pa thogens. The stages doctors use to describe this subtype of ALL are:

  • Early pre-B ALL (approximately 10% of cases)
  • Common ALL (approximately 50% of cases)
  • Pre-B ALL (approximately 10% of cases)
  • Mature B-cell ALL (approximately 4% of cases)

ALL Staging with T Cells

Similar to B cells, T cells have a role in the immune system as an infection-fighter. T cells are generated in the bone marrow and then move to the thymus (a specialized lymphoid organ in the immune system) to mature. The stages of T-cell ALL are:

  • Pre-T ALL (approximately 5%-10% of cases)
  • Mature T-cell ALL (approximately 15%-20% of cases)

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Stages

Doctors use a method called the French-American-British (FAB) classification to describe cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The eight subtypes are denoted as M0 through M7 based on such factors as the number of healthy blood cells, the size and number of leukemia cells, and genetic changes. The stages are:

  • M0: Undifferentiated AML
  • M1: Acute myeloblastic leukemia, potentially with minimal maturation
  • M2: Acute myeloblastic leukemia with maturation
  • M3: Acute promyeloblastic leukemia
  • M4: Acute myelomonocytic leukemia
  • M4 eos: Acute myelomonocytic leukemia with eosinophilia
  • M5: Acute monocytic leukemia
  • M6: Acute erythroleukemia
  • M7: Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Stages

Like acute forms of leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) occurs in the blood and is classified differently than most types of cancer. The Rai system of classification relies on blood cell counts to track the progression of the disease, while the Binet system tracks the disease’s spread through lymph nodes. There are five stages in the Rai system, typically denoted with Roman numerals. The Binet stages are simply A, B, and C.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Stages

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) can be classified into three stages, which a doctor can determine by looking at bone marrow and blood tests. The stages are:

  • Chronic, the earliest and least aggressive stage of CML
  • Accelerated, which is more aggressive than the chronic stage
  • Blastic, the most aggressive stage, characterized by having more than 20% myeloblasts or lymphoblasts, with symptoms similar to acute myeloid leukemia

Receive the Correct Treatment from Regional Cancer Care Associates

No matter what subtype or stage, receiving the correct treatment for leukemia is critical. Regional Cancer Care Associates has a network of specialized cancer care experts spanning 31 locations in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey. Contact us today for more information about leukemia stages, or to make an appointment and get started on your road to recovery.