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Hodgkin's Lymphoma Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms include:

  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Night sweating
  • Coughing
  • Unexplained fever
  • Weight loss
  • Itching
  • Decreased appetite


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. In particular, the doctor will carefully examine your lymph nodes. Most enlarged or swollen lymph nodes result from infection, not lymphomas. If infection is suspected, you may be given medication and instructed to return for re-examination.

If swelling persists, your doctor may order a lymph node biopsy . The biopsy results will show whether there is cancer, and if so, the type and extent of the cancer that is present.

Treatment of Hodgkin’s disease depends on the stage of the disease: how far the cancer has spread and what organs are affected. In general, this means that staging tests to evaluate the condition of the lymph nodes in the body, the liver, spleen, and bone marrow must be done.

In addition:

  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body; done to evaluate the lymph nodes
  • Blood tests—to establish the condition of the liver and blood.
  • PET scan —an extremely sensitive way of evaluating the spread of the disease
  • Gallium scan—a test that uses a radioactive compound to scan and take pictures of your body
  • Abdominal surgery to remove the spleen and to biopsy the liver—much less common because of the accuracy of noninvasive scans

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2018 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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