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Lymphoma Tests, Diagnosis, Prognosis and Stages

Cancer treatment requires a personalized approach. Our team of experts provides information, support and resources to patients and their families.

Are There Screening Tests for Lymphoma?

At this time, there are no screening tests for lymphoma. The best way to find lymphoma early is to pay attention to possible signs and symptoms. If you are at higher risk for lymphoma, regular check-ups are also important.

How Is Lymphoma Diagnosed?

Diagnosing lymphoma begins with an office visit to your doctor. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and the symptoms you are experiencing, conduct a physical examination and likely refer you for further testing.

Lymphoma Tests

  • Physical examination: Your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health and medical history
  • Lymph node biopsy: A small piece of tissue or an entire lymph node is removed and evaluated under a microscope
  • Blood tests: To determine if blood cells are normal in number and appearance and if blood chemistries are normal
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
  • Imaging tests: May include X-rays, CT scans, PET scans and MRI scans

What Is the Prognosis for Lymphoma?

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a highly curable cancer. However, survival rates for both non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma depend on many factors, including cancer type and stage.

Lymphoma Stages

When lymphoma is diagnosed, tests measure the spread of the cancer. This is called staging. It helps your doctors recommend the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

  • Stage I (1): Cancer is in one lymph node area or one area outside the lymph nodes
  • Stage II (2): Cancer is found in two or more lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm
  • Stage III (3): Cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm and possibly spread to an area near the lymph node and/or spleen
  • Stage IV (4): Cancer has spread to other parts of the body

When your doctor explains your stage, ask as many questions as you need. Your care team will be by your side at every step to make sure you have enough information to be in control of your health care choices.

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