People who develop symptoms that suggest they may have central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma may have one or more of the following diagnostic tests:
- An MRI of the brain so doctors can see where the cancer is located. On an MRI, CNS lymphoma in the brain may appear as a single tumor or more than one. CNS lymphoma tumors are usually surrounded with less swelling in the brain than other types of brain tumors are.
- An eye exam to look for fluid and tumors in the eyes.
- A test in which fluid is removed from the spinal column, called a spinal tap. Once the fluid is removed, it will be evaluated with testing called cytology and flow cytometry.
- A CT scan or a PET scan to look for signs of lymphoma in other parts of the body.
- A bone marrow biopsy to look for signs of cancer in the bone marrow.
If these tests suggest that you may have CNS lymphoma, your doctor will need to perform a biopsy to remove cells from the tumor. A pathologist will then examine these cells under a microscope to determine what kind of cancer you have.