Diagnostic tests and procedures

During your journey with the Haematology Department, you may have a range of different tests and procedures, your doctor will inform you of any tests that you require and why you need them.  Please use the links to the left to find out more about these, you can also find out more in our Glossary:

Blood Tests

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test.
A test usually involves placing a needle attached to a syringe into one of the blood vessels in the inside of your elbow or wrist. You will feel a sharp prick as the needle goes in but this isn't particularly painful.

A sample of blood is then taken and the needle is removed. You will be given a cotton-wool pad to put pressure on the site of the injection, which stops any bleeding and should prevent bruising. Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete.

CT Scan

A CT scan is a computerised tomography scan. It uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of your body. CT scans are also sometimes known as CAT scans, which stands for computerised axial tomography.

During a CT scan, you will usually lie on your back on a flat bed. The CT scanner consists of an X-ray tube that rotates around your body. You will usually be moved continuously through this rotating beam. The rays will be analysed by a detector on the opposite side of your body.

The images produced by a CT scan are called tomograms and are more detailed than standard X-rays. A CT scan can produce images of structures inside the body including the internal organs, blood vessels, bones and tumours.

The scan is painless and will usually take 10 to 15 minutes, with only 5 minutes to do the actual scan.

Venesection – the drawing of blood from a vein, for example, for blood donation or therapeutic venesection which is used to manage haemochromatosis or polycythaemia.

When all your results are available the doctors and nurses will discuss the findings at the Haematology MDT meeting.

Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Meeting

Every Tuesday the Consultant Haematologists, Consultant Radiologists, Consultant Pathologists, Clinical Nurse Specialists from across Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Network use video-conferencing equipment to hold a meeting to discuss all patients with a newly confirmed or suspected diagnosis of haematological cancer.  Patients with possible recurrence of cancer are also discussed.

During the meeting each patients’ presenting signs and symptoms are discussed.  The results of biopsies are presented by pathologists who are experts in diagnosing haematological cancers at the Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Service (HMDS) in Leeds.  Also CT and other scans are discussed by expert radiologists.  The medical and nursing team will decide the precise diagnose and type of disease and offer the best treatment option for you.  They will also discuss whether you could enter any clinical trials.

All the decisions are recorded by the Network MDT Co-ordinator (Based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital) and agreed by the chairman.  The patient will then either be contacted or seen again in clinic to discuss the outcome of the MDT meeting with the patient.