Can A CT Scan Diagnose Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the two types of lymphoma, the other one being Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph system. Lymphatic system plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. In this type of cancer a type of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, get affected. They become diseased and grow out of control. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the commonest type of lymphoma, seen to be occurring in majority of cases that are being diagnosed with lymphoma every year.

Can A CT Scan Diagnose Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

A CT scan can diagnose the lymphoma. To see whether it is Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a biopsy will have to be done.

A CT scan is an imaging process which makes use of many x rays together to give out detailed images of the body. These images are cross sectional. This scan can help in diagnosing any kind of lymph nodes enlargements or swellings in our body. This scan can also tell in detail about any other organs in our body. Ct scan can diagnose a lymphoma located in head and neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis etc.

A CT scan is also used for a biopsy method called a CT-guided needle biopsy. This technique is used to examine or take samples from the tumor or lesion that is deep located and cannot be easily reached or seen otherwise. The specialists move the biopsy needle through the skin till it reaches the target area. CT scan is repeatedly carried out till the needle is in the right place. Then, the sample is taken after inserting the needle in the desired place. This sample is then examined in a lab to confirm the diagnosis of a lymphoma and to categorize it into a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There are various other methods of diagnosing a lymphoma and then categorizing it into a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Let us have a look at other different diagnostic procedures.

The specialist will carry out first a thorough physical examination. Most people will notice an abnormal swelling, that wouldn’t go away. There is no pain most of the times. They visit the doctor because they are concerned about this lump. That is when the doctor will start asking a few questions, and if the answers are suggestive of lymphoma, the doctor may ask to undergo a few tests, which may be as follows-

Biopsy To Diagnose Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma –

  • In order to carry out biopsy, a small piece of the lymph node or even the full lymph node is removed for examination in the lab.
  • NHL can be confirmed only with the help of biopsy. However, it is not advised immediately, as there might be some other underlying causes, like an infection, that might be responsible for the symptoms in the concerned person.
  • The doctor therefore, will first prescribe some antibiotics to see if the swollen lymph nodes are subsiding. If not, then the biopsy will be advised.
  • There are different types of biopsies. According to the patient’s needs, the doctor will decide which one to be done.

Imaging Tests to Diagnose Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma –

  • Imaging tests use various techniques to form pictures of the inside of outré body.
  • These tests help in establishing for sure the reasons for some concerns in patients.
  • They also help in ascertaining the stage of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any other cancer for that matter.
  • After the treatment is started, these tests help in showing if the treatment is working.
  • These may also be helpful later, after the treatment has been stopped, in showing whether the cancer is recurring.
  • These include X-rays, CT scan, MRI and USG.
  • Some imaging tests are beneficial in particular areas. Like, an MRI is more useful compared to CT scan when the area of doubt is brain or spinal cord.

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