Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Tests and procedures used to diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include:
- Physical examination. Your doctor may conduct a physical exam to determine the size and condition of your lymph nodes and to find out whether your liver and spleen are enlarged.
- Blood and urine tests. Swollen lymph nodes are common and most often signal that your body is fighting an infection. Blood and urine tests may help rule out an infection or other disease.
- Imaging tests. An X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan of your chest, neck, abdomen and pelvis may detect the presence and size of tumors. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans can help your doctor determine whether your brain and spinal cord are affected. Doctors also use positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to detect non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Imaging tests can help determine the stage of your lymphoma.
- Removing a sample of lymph node tissue for testing. Your doctor may recommend a biopsy procedure to sample or remove a lymph node for testing. Analyzing lymph node tissue in a laboratory may reveal whether you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and, if so, which type.
- Looking for cancer cells in your bone marrow. 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 bone to obtain a sample of bone marrow.
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