Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done, paying particular attention to your lymph nodes. Most enlarged or swollen lymph nodes result from infection, not lymphomas . If infection is suspected, you may be given medication and told to return for a follow up appointment.
If swelling persists, your doctor may order a lymph node biopsy . For this test, all or part of a lymph node will be removed. The tissue sample will be examined under a microscope. The biopsy results will show whether there is cancer. It will also show the type of the cancer that is present.
Lymphoma may be:
In addition to microscopic examination of the lymphoma, other studies may be done, such as:
If cancer is found, treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer. The doctor will order additional tests to determine the stage of the cancer. Staging is a careful attempt to determine whether the cancer has spread and, if it has, what body parts are affected.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
The following stages are used to classify non-Hodgkins lymphoma:
Casciato D. Manual of Clinical Oncology . 6th ed. Lippincott Williams & Williams; 2009
Lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.lls.org/diseaseinformation/lymphoma . Updated March 15, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated April 29, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/non-hodgkin . Accessed April 30, 2013.
What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkinlymphoma/detailedguide/non-hodgkin-lymphoma-what-is-non-hodgkin-lymphoma?sitearea=CRI . Updated March 27, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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