Diagnosis: Coping with your diagnosis

Living with a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma

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Finding out that you have Hodgkin lymphoma can be very hard to cope with. Everyone reacts in different ways to this news. Many people are shocked and find it hard to deal with the fact they have cancer. Many people struggle with the changes cancer brings to their lives and the lives of their families.

Some people with Hodgkin lymphoma find that talking to someone can help them come to terms with their diagnosis. Friends and family can be very supportive, and there are many charities and local groups that will offer practical and emotional advice and guidance. Others find that researching their condition and finding out as much information as possible helps them to cope. Throughout this site, you can find links to reliable sources of information about different aspects of Hodgkin lymphoma and also to support groups in your region.

Diagnosing Hodgkin lymphoma

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A diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma often begins with a visit to the doctor due to swollen lymph glands or symptoms such as night sweats, high temperature or weight loss.
The diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma is made by a test called lymph node biopsy. A lymph node biopsy is the removal of a part of a swollen lymph node to look at it under a microscope.

A lymph node biopsy is a small operation, and is done under local anaesthetic if the lymph node is close to the skin. If the lymph node is deeper in the body, the biopsy is done under general anaesthetic.

The lymph node cells taken at the biopsy will be examined under a microscope. Some tests may be done on the cells to try and find out more about them.”

These tests may include:
•    Blood tests – which check your blood cell count and some organ functions
•    Chest x-ray – to see if you have enlarged lymph nodes in your chest
•    Computed tomography (CT) scan – to check out symptoms other than swollen lymph nodes
•    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan – to check if you have enlarged lymph nodes anywhere else in your body
•    Position emission tomography (PET) scan – to show up active lymphoma cells in your body
•    PET-CT scan – to show if there are any changes in the activity of lymphoma cells
•    Ultrasound – to build up a picture of the inside of your body
•    Bone marrow tests – which check if the lymphoma is in your bone marrow

Click here for further relevant material about diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma


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