How is adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) diagnosed and assessed?

  • Physical examination and medical history, focusing especially on lumps or anything that seems unusual.
  • Blood tests to measure levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
  • Blood and sometimes urine tests that measure the amounts of certain immunoglobulins (proteins produced by the immune system to help fight infections).
  • Blood levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) can be helpful to obtain a rough estimate of the amount or activity of lymphoma in the body.
  • Tissue biopsy and sometimes bone marrow biopsy. The sample from a biopsy is then viewed under a microscope for signs of cancer.

If cancer is detected, more laboratory tests will be needed to pinpoint what specific form of the disease is present.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy