What tests can detect early signs of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?


Quick Answer

A physical examination by a physician, blood, urine and imaging tests, and biopsies can help detect early signs of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, states Mayo Clinic. There are no screening tests for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as of 2015, notes the American Cancer Society.

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Full Answer

Promptly obtaining medical evaluation of symptoms is the best way to detect non-Hodgkin's lymphoma early. Swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue, chest pain and abdominal pain are common signs of the disease, notes Mayo Clinic.

Enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver and spleen found during a physical examination by a physician may be the first clue that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is present, explains Mayo Clinic. Blood and urine tests can rule out infections and other diseases as causes of presenting symptoms. X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and PET scans can reveal any tumors that are present in the body. Biopsies of the lymph node tissue and bone marrow can help a doctor find out if a person has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and if so, what type.

There are many kinds of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; some grow quickly, while others are slower growing, according to the National Cancer Institute. The type and stage of the disease dictate the treatment and prognosis.

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