Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Lymph Node Cancer Evaluation

The evaluation of lymphoma begins with a medical history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with lymphoma may include:

Testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of lymphoma.

Tests that may be used to evaluate lymphoma include:

Other tests that may be used to evaluate lymphoma include:

Imaging tests that may be used to evaluate lymphoma include:

Lymph Node Cancer Staging

In order to determine the best treatment, doctors need to know the stage of the lymphoma.

In order to stage lymphoma, two variables are determined:

  • The type of cells that are multiplying in the lymph nodes
  • Whether the lymphoma has spread to other lymph nodes or other organs

Most people with lymphoma are staged using the Ann Arbor system. This includes stages 1-4 (I-IV), along with certain letters that represent other factors.

The letter system includes:
  • A: no symptoms
  • B: symptoms of fever, night sweats or weight loss
  • E:spread to one site nearby, but outside of affected lymph nodes
  • X: bulky disease larger than 10 cm

Stage 1
In stage 1 (I), the lymphoma is present only in a single site, such as a lymph node.
Stage 2
In stage 2 (II), the lymphoma is present in 2 or more lymph nodes on the same side of the diaphragm, or in a single organ outside of the lymph nodes.
Stage 3
In stage 3 (III), the lymphoma is present on both sides of the diaphragm, with or without involvement of the spleen or other organs.
Stage 4
In stage 4 (IV), the lymphoma is present in multiple organs.

Continue to Lymph Node Cancer Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lymph Node Cancer References
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  2. Kelly JJ, Karcher DS. Lymphoma and peripheral neuropathy: a clinical review. Muscle Nerve. 2005 Mar;31(3):301-13. [15543550]
  3. Martin-Duverneuil N, Mokhtari K, et al. Intravascular malignant lymphomatosis. Neuroradiology. 2002 Sep;44(9):749-54. [12221446]
  4. Mo JQ, Dimashkieh H, Mallery SR, Swerdlow SH, Bove KE. MALT Lymphoma in Children: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2004 Jul-Aug;7(4):407-13. [15455481]
  5. Spagnolo DV, Ellis DW, Juneja S, Leong AS, Miliauskas J, Norris DL, Turner J. The role of molecular studies in lymphoma diagnosis: a review. Pathology. 2004 Feb;36(1):19-44. [14757555]
  6. Yamanaka R, Tanaka R. Advances for the treatment of primary central nervous system lymphoma (review). Oncol Rep. 2004 Sep;12(3):563-8. [15289838]
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