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10

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015

1

Hodgkin lymphoma basics

Do I have Hodgkin lymphoma?

Do I have Hodgkin lymphoma?

Tissue or fluid must be removed from your body

and be tested to confirm (diagnose) cancer. A

biopsy removes samples of fluid or tissue. To

diagnose Hodgkin lymphoma, an excisional biopsy is

recommended. This biopsy removes the tumor that

might be cancer and not much else. The methods

used to do an excisional biopsy depend on where the

tumor is in your body.

FNA (

f

ine-

n

eedle

a

spiration) is a type of biopsy that

removes samples with a thin needle. It should not be

used to diagnosis Hodgkin lymphoma. You may have

cancer even if FNA finds no cancer.

The biopsy samples will be sent to a pathologist. A

pathologist is a doctor who’s an expert in testing cells

to find disease. He or she will examine the samples

using a microscope.

If cancer cells are found, more tests will be done.

All of the test results will be recorded in a pathology

report. It’s a good idea to get a copy of your pathology

report. It’s used to plan treatment.

The pathologist will study the parts of the cancer

cells to classify the disease. This is called histologic

typing. The pathology report will state if the cancer is

Hodgkin lymphoma or another cancer. If the cancer is

Hodgkin lymphoma, which type it is will be listed.

The pathologist should also perform an IHC

(

i

mmuno

h

isto

c

hemistry) test. This test looks for

proteins, called antigens, on the surface of cells. Test

results will help your doctors plan treatment.