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Diagnosing Lymphoma

How Lymphoma is Diagnosed


Updated July 16, 2006

Lymphoma is normally suspected during routine examinations, or in some cases, when a person feels a swollen lymph node that does not go away, or returns. A person may experience other symptoms of lymphoma that prompts them to see a doctor.

Diagnosing Lymphoma

To make a diagnosis of lymphoma, a series of medical tests are performed to confirm a suspician of lymphoma. Medical tests and procedures performed to diagnose lymphoma include:

  • physical exam
  • giving personal and family medical history
  • feeling of the lymph nodes during physical exam
If the doctor suspects lymph node abnormalities, then a biopsy may be ordered.

Other ways in which lymphoma may be diagnosed are:

  • chest x-ray (enlarged lymph nodes of the chest mat be found)
  • ultrasound
  • MRI or CT/CAT scan
  • Gallium scan

    Once a diagnosis of lymphoma is confirmed, more tests will be ordered to determine the stage of the disease. The stage of lymphoma indicates how far the cancer has spread.
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