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Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment

Stages of Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Once adult ALL has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or to other parts of the body.

The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. It is important to know whether the leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow in order to plan treatment. The following tests and procedures may be used to determine if the leukemia has spread:

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

When cancer cells spread outside the blood, a solid tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The three ways that cancer cells spread in the body are:

The new (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary cancer. For example, if leukemia cells spread to the brain, the cancer cells in the brain are actually leukemia cells. The disease is metastatic leukemia, not brain cancer.

There is no standard staging system for adult ALL.

The disease is classified as untreated, in remission, or recurrent.

Untreated adult ALL

The ALL is newly diagnosed and has not been treated except to relieve symptoms such as fever, bleeding, or pain.

Adult ALL in remission

The ALL has been treated.