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Can I Get Checked for Hodgkin Disease Before I Have Symptoms?

Man in laboratory looking into a microscope

Screening tests check for signs of cancer in people who don’t have any symptoms. There is no good way to screen for Hodgkin disease. And there are no nationally recommended screening tests. However, if you have enlarged lymph nodes that do not go away after a couple of weeks, see your doctor. He or she may give you a course of antibiotics to see if they cause the nodes to shrink, as enlarged lymph nodes are often caused by infections. If not, the doctor may take a sample of tissue from the lymph node, called a biopsy, and have it looked at for cancer cells. Having a biopsy may mean the doctor finds the cancer at an early stage, which may be easier to treat and cure.

Hodgkin disease can be present in the body for months or years before a person shows any symptoms of the disease. If you have symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.

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