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While there are screening tests for several types of cancer, at this time, lymphoma is not one of them. Still, in some cases, lymphoma can be caught early by paying attention to the signs and symptoms related to it. If you are experiencing any symptoms of lymphoma, your best first line of defense is to schedule an appointment with your physician for a diagnosis.

Tests Used to Diagnose Lymphoma

There are several tests and procedures used to diagnose lymphoma, which include: 

  • Physical examination. During a physical exam, your doctor will check for swollen lymph nodes, including in your neck, underarm and groin, as well as a swollen spleen or liver.
  • Removing a lymph node for testing. Your doctor may recommend a lymph node biopsy procedure to remove all or part of a lymph node for laboratory testing. Advanced tests can determine if lymphoma cells are present and what types of cells are involved.
  • Blood tests. Blood tests that count the number of cells in a sample of your blood can give your doctor clues about your diagnosis.
  • Removing a sample of bone marrow for testing. Sometimes, a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedure may be necessary. This involves inserting a needle into your hipbone to remove a sample of bone marrow, which is then analyzed to look for lymphoma cells.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests can help your doctor look for signs of lymphoma in other areas of your body. Tests may include CT, MRI and positron emission tomography (PET).

Depending on your particular situation, your doctor may request additional tests and procedures to determine if you have lymphoma. 

Because many types of lymphoma exist, knowing exactly which type you have is key to developing an effective treatment plan. Research shows that having a biopsy sample reviewed by an expert pathologist improves the chances for an accurate diagnosis. It is also a good idea to consider getting a second opinion from a specialist who can confirm your diagnosis.

The expert oncologists at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers are committed to providing you with peace of mind by offering the most advanced treatments for all types of cancers of the blood, including lymphomas. Please find the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center location that is most convenient for you and call to request an appointment.

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