Anamnesis and physical examination
Anamnesis is the taking of a patient’s personal medical history. The physician asks the patient questions regarding present illnesses, complaints and disorders and their course. Patients also have to provide details on their current living conditions (e.g. smoker/non-smoker, malignant diseases of family members etc.) as well as on previous diseases in order to detect potential risk factors. If a malignant lymphoma is suspected, they will also be questioned regarding the presence any B-symptoms.
Apart from the standard checks (blood pressure and pulse measurements, auscultation of the lung etc.), in case of a suspected malignant lymphoma, the physical examination should focus on finding swollen lymph by means of palpation. Further, it is important to palpate the liver and the spleen because frequently they are enlarged if affected by the lymphoma (hepatosplenomegaly). In order to determine the stage of disease (staging) a laboratory examination of the blood parameters is essential.