Alternate Names : Hodgkin's Disease
How is the disease diagnosed?
Hodgkin's lymphoma may be discovered when a person or the healthcare provider feels an enlarged lymph node. Diagnosis begins with a medical history and physical exam. However, a definite diagnosis cannot be made without the following:
a biopsy of the enlarged mass
a bone marrow biopsy
a lymph node biopsy, which takes tissue from a lymph node to send to a laboratory for evaluation
a test for Reed-Sternberg cells
Lymphomas need to be staged, which is a rough measure of the amount of cancer in the body. The tests listed below are used in staging:
blood tumor marker tests
bone marrow biopsy, usually on both sides of the pelvis
complete blood count, or CBC
CT scans of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis
kidney function tests
LDH and isoenzymes blood test, which measures tissue damage
liver function tests
Lymphoma stages are classified as I, II, III, and IV.
Stage I is limited to one lymph node area in the body.
Stage II involves two lymph node areas that are next to each other.
Stage III involves lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm, the muscle between the chest and the abdomen.
Stage IV involves widespread disease that affects other organs, such as the liver, spleen, bone marrow, bone, lung, central nervous system, and skin.
Staging can help predict treatment outcomes. Special laboratory testing called immune analysis can also help predict the outcome of lymphoma. This analysis looks at cell proteins and gene abnormalities. It is not always helpful in figuring out which treatment to use, though.