Diagnosis of lymph gland cancer


Since lymph gland cancers usually have no specific symptoms, the diagnosis is usually only made when the patient is diagnosed notice swollen lymph nodes. Then there are different options available to confirm the suspicion. In addition to the physical exam also Blood tests and imaging procedures such as an ultrasound, CT or MRI examination. In order to finally confirm the diagnosis, one should always try Tissue sample from the affected lymph node.

Diagnostic measures

There are various options available for diagnosing lymphatic cancer. First and foremost, the detailed medical survey that gives answers on the beginning and duration as well as the type of complaints. This is followed by the physical examinationwhich consists of the inspection and palpation of lymph node stations.

Blood test

The physical examination is usually followed by a blood test, which is usually noticeable in lymph gland cancer. So there may be an increase in Inflammatory cells in the blood come to those that CRP and also the white blood cells (leukocytes) counting. Furthermore, the so-called Sedimentation rate clearly increased. All of these abnormalities are not conclusive for lymph gland cancer, but indicate a disease that should be examined more closely.

Further examinations should be initiated for very abnormal values ​​as well as for normal blood values ​​with clear, painless lymph node swelling.

Imaging procedures

Imaging methods include examinations that can be used to take a picture of the inside of the body, e.g. X-rays, ultrasound, CT, MRI and some others.

If abnormal lymph nodes have already been seen during the physical examination, a Ultrasonic be made of these knots. This examination is not painful and does not involve radiation, so it is often used for better assess suspicious lymph nodes to be able to.

If the findings are unclear, a MRI or CT examination carried out, which may make further enlarged lymph nodes visible. All the findings from blood tests, ultrasound CT or MRI are collated and evaluated at the end.

If the diagnosis of lymph gland cancer has already been made, a CT scan of the chest and abdomen is used to search for further enlarged lymph nodes that could cause colonization (metastasis) of lymph gland cancer. This measure is known as Stagingi.e. the spread of the cancer is determined.

Tissue sample

Lymph node biopsies, i.e. a tissue sample taken from the suspected lymph node, then confirm the diagnosis of lymph gland cancer and allow a distinction between the various types.

This is very important because some infections can also cause permanently swollen, painless lymph nodes (e.g. tuberculosis, syphilis, etc.), in such cases of course no cancer treatment would be necessary. In addition, by examining the tissue under the microscope (histology), the exact type of lymph gland cancer can be determined and a more adapted therapy can be initiated. The different types also come with different chances of recovery.

More information can be found here: Lymphatic Cancer Cure Chances

A further staging is then carried out to show which regions of the body are affected. Thereafter, appropriate treatment should be planned and started immediately.

Read more on the subject at: Lymph node biopsy

Stages and classification

After the diagnosis of lymph gland cancer has been made, each patient is diagnosed with a cancer Staging carried out. This is understood to be a staging that indicates which areas of the body are affected by the disease and how far the disease has already spread. The staging also includes whether there are already distant metastases. Of the Staging depends on the selected therapy. In the staging of a lymph gland cancer, the so-called Ann-Arbor classification enforced:

  • Stage I.: Only one lymph node region is affected or a finding that is outside of the lymph node system.
  • Stage II: 2 or more lymph node stations are affected. The affected regions are on the same side of the diaphragm (i.e. in the chest area and above or in the stomach area and below). There may also be foci outside the lymph node system.
  • Stage III: 2 or more lymph node regions are affected and there are affected lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm (i.e. in the chest as well as in the abdominal and pelvic area).
  • Stage IV: At this stage the malignant cells have already left the lymphatic system and have attacked another organ that is completely independent of the lymphatic system. Such a settlement and spread of cancer cells is known as (Distant) metastasis. Infection of the lungs or liver would therefore correspond to stage IV.

The letters A and B are assigned to each stage designation. They make it clear whether further General symptoms such as Fever, weight loss, and night sweats are present. If these symptoms are present (also referred to as B symptoms) this corresponds to subgroup B; if they are not present and the patient is symptom-free, this corresponds to a subgroup A. Subgroup B usually has a slightly worse prognosis.

Once the diagnosis has been made, primary staging is carried out. It is valid throughout treatment and is updated when there are changes in the course of the disease. In the best case scenario, a patient can slide into a smaller stage if the tumor is contained, or slide into a higher stage if the treatment is unsuccessful and the tumor continues to spread.

Read about this too Lymphatic cancer - what is the prognosis