The stage of a lymphoma is used to describe where it is in the body, how many lymph glands are affected and whether it has spread to other lymph glands or other organs.
One group of lymph nodes is affected.
Two or more groups of nodes are affected, but the lymphoma is only on one side of the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle under the lungs that plays a large part in our breathing. The part of the body above the diaphragm is considered the upper half, and below the diaphragm is considered the lower half of the body.
The lymphoma is in lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm.
The lymphoma has spread beyond the lymph nodes, for example to other organs such as the bone marrow, liver or lungs.
As well as giving each stage a number, a letter code – either A or B – is also used to show whether you have other specific symptoms such as weight loss, fevers, itches, or night sweats.
If you have no symptoms you will be classified as an A, and if you have, then obviously you will be classified as a B.
Occasionally, lymphomas can occur at unusual sites outside the lymph nodes such as the stomach, and his is called extranodal lymphoma and the stage will include the letter E.
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