Biopsy:
a part or all of the tumor is removed to determine the type of cancer. The pathologist, a doctor who specializes in the recognition of diseases in humans, looks at the tissue under a microscope.

Bone marrow aspiration (myelogram) or bone marrow biopsy:
this exam examines the bone marrow under a microscope to see if leukemia is present or if the treatment is working.
For other types of cancer the test assesses whether the disease has spread to the bone marrow.

The puncture site varies according to the child's age and the most frequent site is on the hip bone.


Blood studies

Tumor markers:
this type of test looks for substances that can increase in the blood of a person with cancer. Some markers are specific to some tumors. This test can help diagnose cancer and find out how your child is responding to treatment.

Complete blood count:
test that checks the elements that make up blood cells: white blood cells (leukocytes), red blood cells and platelet count in a blood sample. White blood cells in the blood are also used to find certain types of immature cells - called blasts - typical of leukemia. Leukocytes protect the body from infections. Chemotherapy and other treatments can reduce the number of white blood cells, increasing the risk of infection.

That is why your doctor after chemotherapy advises you that any sign of fever with low white blood cells is necessary to return to the hospital.

Red blood cells (hemoglobin):
Hemoglobin is the substance in the blood that transports oxygen to the body's tissues. Low hemoglobin indicates anemia.
Anemia can cause pallor, weakness and tiredness.

Platelet count:
Measures the number of platelets. Platelets help blood to clot. A low platelet count increases the risk of bleeding.

Lumbar puncture:
the test takes a sample of spinal fluid, the liquid that lines the brain and spinal cord. The fluid is evaluated through the microscope to see if there are any infections or cancer cells. It is also used to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to the brain and spinal cord.