Leukemia Cancer Stages

Most cancer patients are assigned a clinical “stage” after undergoing a diagnostic work-up. American physicians often use the four Leukemia Cancer Stages TNM system a classification system developed and recently revised by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC) International Union Against Cancer).

According to this system, Leukemia Cancer Stages based on the size of the tumor and how far it has spread from its original location in the body.Because leukemia starts in the bone marrow and often has spread to other organs by the time it is detected there is no need for traditional staging. Instead, physicians rely upon cytologic (cellular) classification systems to identify the type and subtype of leukemia.

Cell classification systems, in turn, help to predict the prognosis, or outcome, of specific forms of leukemia and the likely response to treatment.The most popular classification method for acute leukemia is the French-American-British (FAB) system. According to FAB classification, acute leukemia is divided into eight subtypes of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and three subtypes of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) (see Types of Leukemia).

FAB originally was based upon the microscopic appearance of leukemia cells; however, in recent years, researchers have discovered that cellular characteristics such as genetic make-up and numbers of specific cell types help to classify leukemia and predict its outcome.Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is classified by one of two cytologic Leukemia Cancer Stages systems, which known as Rai Classification and Binet Leukemia Cancer Stages, respectively.

Rai Leukemia Cancer Stages

Rai Classification separates chronic lymphocytic leukemia into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk categories, which correspond with Leukemia Cancer Stages 0, I & II, and III & IV, respectively:

Rai Stage 0 patients are low risk and have lymphocytosis, a high lymphocyte count defined as more than 15,000 lymphocytes per cubic millimeter (> 15,000 /mm3).
Rai Stage I patients are intermediate risk and have lymphocytosis plus enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy).

Rai Stage II patients are also intermediate risk but have lymphocytosis plus an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) or enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), with or without lymphadenopathy.

Rai Stage III patients are high-risk and have lymphocytosis plus anemia, a low red blood cell count (hemoglobin < 11 g/dL), with or without lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, or splenomegaly.

Rai Stage IV patients are also high-risk but have lymphocytosis plus thrombocytopenia, a low number of blood platelets (< 100 – 103 /dL).

Binet Leukemia Cancer Stages

Binet Leukemia Cancer Stages classifies CLL according to the number of lymphoid tissues that are involved (i.e., the spleen and the lymph nodes of the neck, groin, and underarms), as well as the presence of low red blood cell count (anemia) or low number of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia):

 Binet Stage A patients have fewer than three areas of enlarged lymphoid tissue and do not have anemia or thrombocytopenia. Enlarged lymph nodes of the neck, underarms, and groin, as well as the spleen, are each considered “one group,” whether unilateral (one-sided) or bilateral (on both sides).

Binet Stage B patients have three pr more areas of enlarged lymphoid tissue and do not have anemia or thrombocytopenia.

Binet Stage C patients have anemia and/or thrombocytopenia (platelets <100 – 103 /dL). source

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