Skip to content

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Font Size

Stages of Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

    After adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the lymph system or to other parts of the body.

    The process used to find out the type of cancer and if cancer cells have spread within the lymph system or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage of the disease in order to plan treatment. The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:

    • Complete blood count (CBC) with differential: A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
      • The number of red blood cells and platelets.
      • The number and type of white blood cells.
      • The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
      • The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.

      cdr0000526546.jpg
      Complete blood count (CBC). Blood is collected by inserting a needle into a vein and allowing the blood to flow into a tube. The blood sample is sent to the laboratory and the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are counted. The CBC is used to test for, diagnose, and monitor many different conditions.
    • Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.
    • CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the lung, lymph nodes, and liver, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
    • PET scan (positron emission tomography scan): A procedure to find malignant tumor cells in the body. A small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein. The PET scanner rotates around the body and makes a picture of where glucose is being used in the body. Malignant tumor cells show up brighter in the picture because they are more active and take up more glucose than normal cells do.
    • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
    • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: The removal of bone marrow, blood, and a small piece of bone by inserting a needle into the hipbone or breastbone. A pathologist views the bone marrow, blood, and bone under a microscope to look for signs of cancer.
      1|2|3|4

      Today on WebMD

      stem cells
      What are they and why do we need them?
      Lung cancer xray
      See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
       
      sauteed cherry tomatoes
      Fight cancer one plate at a time.
      Ovarian cancer illustration
      Do you know the symptoms?
       
      Vitamin D
      SLIDESHOW
      New Treatments For Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
      FEATURE
       
      Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
      SLIDESHOW
      Pets Improve Your Health
      SLIDESHOW
       

      WebMD Special Sections