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How can I identify lymphoma?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include enlarged lymph nodes, a swollen abdomen, chest pain and pressure, shortness of breath, cough, weight loss, fever, anemia, fatigue, and night sweats, according to the American Cancer Society. A definitive diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is only possible with a biopsy.

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How can I identify lymphoma?
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Full Answer

Most people who are ultimately diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma are evaluated by their doctors after noticing a lump that does not go away or because they notice other symptoms of the disease, according to the ACS. Some people may simply feel unwell and go to their doctors for checkups.

Before making a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a doctor takes a complete medical history, performs a physical exam and evaluates risk factors, including family history, medical conditions and current symptoms. He pays special attention to the lymph nodes, liver and spleen, and if he suspects non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he orders a biopsy, according to the ACS.

Standard treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma varies by stage and severity and may range from watchful waiting to radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or antibody therapy. Some patients with aggressive forms of the disease may be admitted into clinical trials using experimental drugs and procedures, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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