Doctors use physical examinations, imaging tests, blood test and, sometimes, bone marrow tests to determine the extent of the disease. This determination is called "staging." Staging provides important information for treatment planning.
Staging for Hodgkin lymphoma is based on the Ann Arbor staging system. Each stage is subdivided and assigned to category A, B or E.
|Stage I||Involvement of one lymph node or a group of adjacent nodes.|
|Stage II||Involvement of two or more lymph node regions on the same side of the diaphragm (a thin muscle below the lungs)|
|Stage III||Involvement of lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm (for example, neck, chest and abdomen)|
|Stage IV||Involvement of lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm and/or involvement of organs such as the lungs, spleen, liver, bones or bone marrow|
Categories A, B and E
Each stage of Hodgkin lymphoma is subdivided and assigned to category A, B, E, or S. :
- Category A indicates no symptoms are present
- Category B indicates the presence of "B symptoms:"
- Unexplained fevers (higher than 100.4°F)
- Drenching night sweats
- Unexpected weight loss of more than 10 percent of body weight within 6 months prior to diagnosis
- Category E indicates involvement of organs or tissues beyond the lymph system.
- Category S indicates involvement of the spleen.
For example, staging for Hodgkin lymphoma based on the Ann Arbor staging system means that a patient with stage IIB Hodgkin lymphoma has
- Involvement of two lymph node sites near each other (for example, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and near the collarbone, or in the neck and the armpit)
- Fever, excessive sweating and weight loss.
Your treatment depends on your stage and category. Patients who fall into the B category usually need more aggressive treatment than A category patients do.
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free booklet, Hodgkin Lymphoma.