Lymphoma Diagnosis and Staging
Early and accurate diagnosis and staging of lymphoma is critical to delivering the most effective treatments and achieving optimal patient outcomes.
At UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, we take lymphoma diagnosis to the highest level with the help of specialized hematopathologists. These doctors are pathologists uniquely trained to identify and classify the different types of complex and rare lymphomas.
Diagnosis of Lymphoma
If lymphoma is suspected based on a physical exam and symptoms, we’ll order additional tests. These tests can include:
- Biopsy of a lymph node, which can detect lymphoma cells
- Blood analysis, which assesses the numbers, types, and shapes of blood cells, as well as other characteristics that could indicate lymphoma
- Imaging studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), bone scans, and positron emission tomography (PET), which help visualize tumors and guide biopsies
- Tests of heart and lung function, which help us evaluate suitability for certain treatments
When appropriate, patients can also meet with our clinical geneticists, who can help determine if there is a predisposition for lymphoma that could affect their relatives.
A cancer’s stage indicates whether it has spread beyond the site in which it originated, and if so, how far. The stage of lymphoma helps our team determine the most appropriate treatment.Lymphoma staging is typically based on the findings of the physical exam, laboratory studies, imaging studies, and/or biopsy.