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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
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Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

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CANCER

Lymphoma

From MayoClinic.com

When to seek medical advice

If you have persistent swelling in your lymph nodes, have a persistent fever, have lost weight or regularly experience night sweats and fatigue, see your doctor to determine the underlying cause. The earlier non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is diagnosed, the greater your chances for successful treatment.

Screening and diagnosis

Your doctor may use these procedures to help diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma:

  • Physical examination. Your doctor may examine not only your swollen lymph nodes but also your other lymph nodes to determine their size and consistency.

  • Blood and urine tests. Much of the time, having swollen lymph nodes means you're fighting an infection. Blood and urine tests may help your doctor rule out an infection or other disease.

  • Imaging techniques. An X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan of your chest, neck, abdomen and pelvis may detect the presence and size of tumors. Doctors are also increasingly using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to detect cancer. For this test, a small amount of a radioactive tracer is injected into your body. This tracer is then absorbed by the tissues in your body. Tumors are typically more metabolically active than other tissues, so they absorb more of the tracer.

  • Lymph node biopsy. Taking a sample of lymph node tissue for examination in the laboratory may reveal whether you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and, if so, which type. This procedure may show the lymphoma to be growing slowly (low grade), growing at a moderate rate (intermediate grade) or growing rapidly (high grade). Knowing the growth rate of your tumor can help determine which treatment is best for you.

  • Bone marrow biopsy. To find out whether the disease has spread, your doctor may request a biopsy of your bone marrow. This involves inserting a needle into your pelvic bones to obtain a sample of bone marrow.

Doctors classify non-Hodgkin's disease into about 30 types. Besides the differentiation between B cell and T cell types of the disease, classification is based on several other factors. These include microscopic appearance, cellular genetic changes, cell size, staining patterns with specific antibody stains, how the cancer cells group together and how fast the cancer grows. Doctors also assign a stage (I through IV) to the disease, based on the number of tumors and how widely the tumors have spread.

 

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/14/08 11:51 PM