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Usually you begin by seeing your GP (family doctor) who will examine you and arrange for you to have any tests| or x-rays that may be necessary.
Your GP will need to refer you to hospital for these tests and for specialist advice and treatment|.
At the hospital the doctor will take your full medical history before doing a physical examination. They may take a blood test and chest x-ray to check your general health.
A definite diagnosis is made by removing an enlarged lymph node, or part of it, and examining the cells under a microscope. This is called a biopsy. You might have a local anaesthetic if only part of the lymph node needs to be removed or if it’s near the skin’s surface. If the lymph node that’s being removed is deeper inside the body, you may need a general anaesthetic. It’s a small operation and you may have some mild pain and bruising afterwards.
If these tests show that Hodgkin lymphoma is present, you may have further tests| to tell the stage| of the lymphoma.
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2011
Next planned review: 2013
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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