Investigations for lymphoma diagnosis and management

Investigations for establishing the correct diagnosis and lymphoma type

If lymphoma is suspected but not proven, or if the particular variety of lymphoma  is not known with confidence, you are likely to need a biopsy. Sometimes a needle biopsy has already been done, confirming a diagnosis of lymphoma but not the particular category. To ensure we have all the information required for the appropriate management of the lymphoma, you may need what is called an excision biopsy. This involves complete removal of a lymph node or, if there is a large mass of lymph nodes, a piece of the abnormal mass. These procedures are generally done as a day patient or require an overnight stay. If a biopsy is required, you will be referred  to an appropriate surgeon with expertise in cancer surgery to undertake the biopsy. If you or your GP have a preference for a surgeon please let us know. Otherwise a suitably experienced surgeon will be contacted by us. The choice of surgeon is influenced by the precise location of the area to be biopsied; for example, if the affected lymph node is in your chest, a specialised chest surgeon will be involved.

Other investigations

Once a diagnosis of lymphoma is confirmed you will need to have additional investigations to inform treatment decisions. The major purposes of these further investigations, and the types of tests involved, are as follows:

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