Exams and Tests
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is suspected, your doctor
will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. This
exam includes checking for enlarged
lymph nodes in your neck, underarm, and groin.
A tissue sample (biopsy) is needed to make a diagnosis.
A biopsy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is usually taken from a
lymph node, but other tissues may be sampled as
bone marrow aspiration and biopsy is usually done to find
out if lymphoma cells are present in the bone marrow.
may also order other tests, including:
Blood tests, such as a
chemistry screen to measure the levels of several
substances in the blood and a
CBC (complete blood count) to provide information
about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood.
chest X-ray, to provide a picture of the inside of the chest.
CT scan or
MRI, to provide detailed
pictures of the inside of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
- A PET scan, to show areas
metabolic activity. Metabolic activity is often high in cancer cells.
- Lab tests, such as flow cytometry, that check the types of cells in a biopsy sample. These tests help
your doctor find out the type of lymphoma.
Lumbar puncture (also called a spinal tap), to find out whether lymphoma cells
are in the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF)
surrounding your brain and spinal cord.