The following tests and procedures help diagnose Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
The following tests and procedures help diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
- Physical examination
- Blood and urine tests
- Imaging tests
- Removing a sample of lymph node tissue for testing
- Looking for cancer cells in your bone marrow
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, doctors "stage" the disease. Staging is how doctors determine the extent of the disease, which will affect your treatment options.
Stage I: The disease is present in only one group of lymph nodes, or more rarely in a single organ that does not belong to the lymph system.
Stage II: Cancer is found in two or more groups of lymph nodes on the same side as the diaphragm. (The diaphragm is a thin muscle below the lungs that helps in breathing and separates your chest from the abdomen). In addition, an organ not in the lymph system may be involved close to the involved nodes.
Stage III: The disease is present in lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm, occasionally with the involvement of other adjacent organs. If the spleen is involved then the disease becomes stage III as well.
Stage IV: Once the liver, the bone marrow or the lung substance becomes involved, the disease is in stage IV. The same is true if other organs are involved far away from involved nodes.