doctor will do a physical exam to search for signs of Hodgkin's
lymphoma in your body. He can also ask
you questions about your medical history and the symptoms you experience to help him have a better idea of your
condition. During the physical examination, your oncologist will look for signs of swollen lymph nodes.
Depending on the volume of lymph nodes, a simple touch may reveal a mass, a vivid indication of Hodgkin's
lymphoma. In addition, if you have Hodgkin's lymphoma, the size of your spleen tends to increase under the left
However, these procedures
are not sufficient to confirm the diagnosis; other medical techniques must be performed, which may
- Biopsy - to confirm a Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis, a
biopsy is always necessary. Your specialist can perform a needle biopsy to remove a small sample. He can
choose to perform a surgical biopsy to remove the entire gland in order to obtain enough tissue for
laboratory analysis. This procedure helps your physician to detect the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells,
the main indicator of Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Blood analysis - a blood test will be done to determine the
quantity and quality of your white and red blood cells. The blood test may also include an analysis of
blood chemistry and the search for an abnormal erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR); high ESR levels are
always seen in certain cancer of white blood cells and rheumatoid disease.
- Chest X-ray – this imaging technique is performed to detect
swollen lymph nodes in your body that were not palpable during the physical examination
- CT scan/MRI of the thorax - a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of
the thorax, pelvis and abdomen is important to determine if you have a metastatic Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
– this imaging technique aims to
discover areas where cellular activity is increased, which often indicates the position of the cancer;
- Bone marrow
aspiration and biopsy-
under local anesthesia, your physician removes a tiny sample of your bone marrow and bone to be examined
under microscope. This procedure allows your doctor to determine if bone marrow has been affected by the