There are several tests that can help confirm or rule out a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. In most cases, the diagnostic process starts with a physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history. From there, if non-Hodgkin lymphoma is suspected and other, more common conditions are ruled out, blood work, urine tests and imaging scans can be used to determine if cancer is present.
Moffitt Cancer Center offers several advanced diagnostic tests for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including:
- CT (computerized tomography) scans, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, ultrasounds and PET (positron emission tomography) scans to look for cancerous cells throughout the body
- Lymph node biopsies to test for the presence of lymphoma cells in the lymph nodes
- Bone marrow biopsies to check for the presence of lymphoma cells in the bone marrow
- Lumbar punctures (spinal taps) to identify lymphoma cells in the cerebrospinal fluid
- Echocardiograms to determine if lymphoma has spread to the heart
- Pulmonary function tests to determine if lymphoma has spread to the lungs
If a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis is made, several additional tests can also be used to provide a patient’s oncologists with additional information about the type of the cancer and, in turn, the most effective ways to treat it. These tests include:
- Immunohistochemistry testing to determine the exact type of lymphoma that is present
- Cytogenetic testing to detect any genetic abnormalities that might be present in the lymphoma cells
- Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to detect genetic changes that are too slight to be seen during cytogenetic testing
At Moffitt, we offer the latest advances in diagnostic testing, using a range of imaging scans, lab tests and functional assessments to determine the location, extent and type of a patient’s cancer. From there, we use this information to shape each patient’s individualized treatment plan, helping to improve outcomes and quality of life by using the evidence-based best practices that apply to each patient’s unique situation.
No referral is required to discuss a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis with one of Moffitt’s experienced oncologists. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.