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Lymphoma: Diagnosis and Staging

Diagnosis and staging provide the healthcare team with important information to tailor a treatment plan for the individual patient and make recommendations for how to best fight the cancer.

Diagnosis of lymphoma is done with a biopsy. A biopsy involves examining tissue or cells obtained by removing all or part of a lymph node. The samples are examined by a pathologist who specializes in diagnosing lymphomas.

Staging determines the extent of spread of the disease. A complete staging workup may include a physical exam, blood work, CT and/or PET scans, bone marrow biopsy, and sometimes a lumbar puncture.

For patients' with biopsies performed at outside facilities, the tissue samples are re-evaluated by Emory Winship Cancer Institute hematopathologist to confirm the diagnosis. Likewise Emory radiologists may review CT and/or PET scans from outside facilities.