How is Hodgkin's Lymphoma Diagnosed?
To find out if you have Hodgkin’s lymphoma and help guide treatment plans, your medical team may order the following diagnostic procedures and tests:
- Physical exam. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A medical professional will take your temperature, check for lumps, and ask about weight loss.
- Blood tests. A blood sample or samples will be drawn, and the amounts of blood components and certain substances will be measured. Higher- or lower-than-normal amounts may be a sign of disease.
- Imaging tests. CT and PET scans show the inside of your body. These tests send forms of energy (like X-rays and sound waves) through your body, and an image of the inside of the body is created. Imaging tests are used to diagnose cancer and determine its stage. If you are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the images will help your doctors create a treatment plan and evaluate progress during and after treatment. For pregnant women with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, MRI and/or ultrasound exams are used.
- Lymph node biopsy. To confirm a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your doctor may perform a biopsy. This is a minor surgical procedure to remove a sample of affected lymph node tissue so it can be examined under a microscope.
How is Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treated?
Your care team will recommend a treatment plan, which will depend on your health, age, the type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma you have, the stage of the cancer, and its location in the body.
Treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma often include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. If these therapies do not work, your treatment may also include immunotherapy or a stem cell transplant.
- Chemotherapy. This drug treatment is given as an infusion through a vein (the most common method), injected by a syringe, or given in pill form. Chemotherapy may be done in combination with radiation therapy. Side effects are nausea and hair loss.
- Radiation therapy. High-energy beams are directed to the area or areas in which the cancer cells accumulate to destroy them. Usually, radiation therapy is used with chemotherapy. Side effects include tiredness and skin sensitivity.
- Immunotherapy. This treatment uses drugs that are designed to recognize cancer cells specifically and destroy them.
- Stem cell transplant. Patients who are treated with high-dose chemotherapy receive a transplant of blood-forming stem cells to rebuild bone marrow that was damaged by the chemotherapy. Preferably, the stem cells will come directly from the patient.
Treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma may cause side effects. Your care team can help treat these side effects and provide expert advice on how to manage them.
Receive Treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at NewYork-Presbyterian
At NewYork-Presbyterian, you have access to the full resources of our cancer centers and specialists, who will provide advanced cancer treatment, clinical trials, and comprehensive care — including pain management, nutrition advice, and counseling — for our oncology patients and their caregivers. This collaboration makes NewYork-Presbyterian a top-tier choice for people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Contact us to schedule an appointment.