Hodgkin Lymphoma: Diagnosis
Common signs and symptoms of One of the two major types of lymphoma that begin in the lymph nodes and tissues of the lymphatic system. All other lymphomas are classified as non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Hodgkin lymphoma has characteristic cell, the Reed-Sternberg cell, seen by the pathologist under the microscope when looking at the tissue from the biopsy. include swelling of the Small bean-shaped glands located in the small vessels of the lymphatic system. There are thousands of lymph nodes located throughout the body, with clusters of them in the neck, under the arms, the chest, abdomen and groin. Lymph nodes filter lymph fluid, trapping and destroying potentially harmful bacteria and viruses., fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss and lack of energy. An accurate assessment for Hodgkin lymphoma requires a number of diagnostic tests conducted by a physician.
To be sure of a diagnosis of HL or any Abnormal cell growth that cannot be controlled by the body's natural defenses. Cancerous cells can grow and eventually form tumors., a Removal of a small piece of tissue for evaluation under a microscope. is required. An excisional biopsy to remove an entire The watery fluid in the lymph system that contains white blood cells (lymphocytes). node is preferred in helping to diagnose HL. Sometimes, however, a core needle or an incisional biopsy to remove a portion of the tissue is performed. A A physician who specializes in studying disease through a microscopic evaluation of body tissues and organs. examines slides containing portions from the biopsy sample under a microscope to see if they contain the characteristic cells of HL (ReedSternberg [RS]) and to see if the cells are arranged in ways typical of HL.
The following tests may be used to confirm the HL diagnosis:
- Spongy material found inside the bones containing stem cells that develop into three types of cells: red blood cells that deliver oxygen to the body and take away carbon dioxide; white blood cells that protect the body from infection; and platelets biopsy and/or bone marrow aspiration for advanced The extent of cancer in the body, including whether the disease has spread from the original site to other body parts. HL
- Complete blood count (CBC) with differential
- Comprehensive metabolic panel to check liver and kidney function
- Pathology examination of the lymph node biopsy (a detailed review of the biopsy by a pathologist or hematopathologist)
- Testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis B and C virus infections
- A test that evaluates metabolic activity in different parts of the body using radioisotope. (PET) and computed tomography (Computed tomography (CT). This imaging test provides a series of detailed picutres of inside the body using an X-ray machine linked to a computer.) scans
Patients diagnosed with HL will be asked to undergo a variety of procedures for the initial diagnosis and work-up before treatment begins, during the course of treatment, and during the follow-up period. Before patients agree to a procedure, they should make sure they understand the reasons for the procedure and what will be involved. All of the information gained from these tests will help the patient’s healthcare team determine the best course of treatment.
To learn more about diagnosis of HL, download the Hodgkin Lymphoma Booklet.