Staging of Hodgkin’s disease is important as for best results Hodgkin’s disease has to be treated differently depending on what stage it is found in at the time of diagnosis.
This is why lymphoma staging by a hematologist is a very important step before treatment can be started.
The common staging system used for Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s disease is the Ann Arbor system or one of its modifications. Below is an abridged version of it.
In order to come to accurate staging, the physician will have to order such tests as CT scans of the thorax and a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. Tumors of intermediate or high grade will take up gallium, and gallium scan may be useful in certain cases. Bone lesions anywhere in the skeleton can be picked up by a regular bone scan.
Ann Arbor staging of Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
I : presentation in one lymph gland only
II : two or more lymph glands are affected on the same side of the diaphragm
III : disease present in lymph nodes and/or spleen and on both sides of the diaphragm
IV : involvement of tissues outside of lymph nodes (for instance bone marrow, lung or liver tissue)
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