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Your doctor may order a biopsy of the bone marrow or analysis of a peripheral blood smear, if he or she suspects you have a blood disorder.
He or she may also order a biopsy of one or more lymph nodes — in the groin, armpit, neck, or elsewhere.
As part of the immune system, lymph nodes nurture white blood cells, which help to fight infection. They also trap bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells.
Testing may indicate one of the following diseases:
Each of these conditions present in several forms, and it's not possible to determine what kind of disease is present through observation alone. Your doctor may refer you for further testing, which may involve a biopsy or blood sample.
The pathologist will examine your bone marrow, lymph node, or blood sample, and provide a diagnosis that will help your doctor formulate the most appropriate treatment plan for you.
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