Biopsy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Removing some cells and tissue from an enlarged lymph node is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This is called a biopsy and it is done in one of two ways:
Core needle biopsy
After the biopsy
The biopsy sample is sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope by a specialist doctor called a pathologist. If cancer cells are found, the pathologist can tell which type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma they are.
The results will usually be ready in 7–10 days. This waiting period can be an anxious time and it may help to talk to a supportive friend, relative or health professional about how you are feeling.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Ian Bilmon, Haematologist, Westmead and Sydney Adventist Hospitals; Dr Anne Capp, Radiation Oncologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Rachelle Frith, Clinical Nurse Consultant Haematology, Prince of Wales Hospital; Jason Gardner, Consumer; A/Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Samantha Rennie, Social Worker, Cancer Services, St George Hospital. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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