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Lymphoma - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2023

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in infection fighting cells belonging to the immune system. These cancerous cells are present in a lot of body parts like the lymph nodes, thymus, spleen and bone marrow. Lymphocytes modify themselves and grow rapidly when there is a lymphoma.

Two main kinds of lymphoma are there:

  • Hodgkin
  • Non Hodgkin

Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas both affect different types of lymphocytes. Each type grows at different speeds and has different responses to treatment. Despite being cancers, lymphomas are quite treatable. In many instances they get completely cured as well. Lymphomas differ from leukemia as both start in different kinds of cells. Lymphomas start in lymphocytes while leukemia start in bone marrow cells.

What is the most common early symptom of Lymphoma?

Early symptoms are important to be noticed in case of Lymphoma for a timely and better treatment plan. Some of those symptoms that appear early in this form of cancer include:

  • Formation of painless lumps underneath skin caused by lymph nodes that get enlarged.
  • Noticeable bumps in the region of the neck, armpit, and groin.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Chills and fever.
  • Loss in weight and fatigue.

What is the difference between Lymphoma and cancer?

Lymphoma and cancer have some similarities and differences as well which is important for us to know. Blood or bone marrow are generally affected in case of leukemia or cancer while there is an involvement of lymph nodes in case of Lymphoma.

Does Lymphoma spread quickly?

The rate of spread of Lymphoma may vary mainly depending upon its type. It involves two types i.e indolent and aggressive. The former is less invasive and accompanied by a slow rate of spread and fewer symptoms while the latter is more invasive and associated with a fast rate of spread and comparatively more symptoms.

Summary- Depending on the type, lymphoma can spread.

Causes :

Lymphoma has an elusive specific cause. However, the following factors may contribute to its development:

  • Chronic infection
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history
  • HIV
  • Arthritis, celiac disease and lupus
  • Radiation
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Several medical treatments

Summary- Infections, a weakened immune system, and autoimmune illnesses are among the potential causes of lymphoma.

Is Lymphoma always cancer?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the immune system of the body and cancerous transformation in its cells leads to the occurrence of Lymphoma. There may be various types of Lymphoma depending on which treatment plan is made. Prognosis in this type of cancer depends upon its type.


Is Lymphoma hard to diagnose?

Lymphoma is sometimes difficult to diagnose. Hence to overcome this, it needs to be consulted with a doctor specialized in hematopathology for the proper diagnosis. In such cases, a correct diagnosis is necessary to start the right treatment plan in order to get a better prognosis.

Summary- Yes, in most cases lymphoma is difficult to diagnose.

What are the treatments of Lymphoma?

Treatments for lymphoma include:

  • Chemotherapy: It uses medicines to kill cancer-causing cells. It may be administered orally or intravenously via injection.
  • Radiation Therapy: It uses radiation to kill the cancer-causing cells and prevents them from spreading and multiplying.
  • Immunotherapy: In immunotherapy, the immune system is stimulated and made strong to fight against cancer. It helps to prevent the production of cancer-causing cells.
  • Bone marrow transplant: The doctor implants healthy stem cells into the blood for replacing the infected blood cells and rebuilding the bone marrow. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are used to do it.
  • CAR T-cell therapy: In CAR T-cell therapy, white blood cells are used to fight against the cancer-causing cells.

Summary- Lymphoma can be treated with the help of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and bone marrow transplant.

Can Lymphoma be completely cured?

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system of the human body. It is not common. Its cure is quite possible by the treatment methods which generally include chemotherapy. In some cases, radiotherapy is also required which follows the chemotherapy. The treatment usually takes place under the supervision of a specialized multidisciplinary team.

Summary- Yes, lymphoma can be cured.

Can Lymphoma go away by itself?

A Lymphoma is a form of cancer of our lymphatic system. Its cure needs a proper treatment plan under the supervision of specialists, which includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or steroid application in some cases. It cannot recover or heal spontaneously.

Summary: A Lymphoma is an uncommon form of cancer that usually affects our lymphatic system. It is curable in most cases involving an adequate and proper treatment strategy under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team. The treatment plan mainly includes chemotherapy, sometimes followed by radiotherapy along with steroid application in some cases.


A lymphatic system cancer is termed lymphoma. The lymphatic system protects our body from several types of diseases. The two forms of lymphoma are non-and Hodgkin's Hodgkin's lymphoma. Some symptoms of lymphoma are weight loss, sweating and fatigue. Chemotherapy, medicine, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplants can be used to treat lymphoma.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is lymphoma a serious cancer?

Yes, lymphoma is serious cancer.

Is lymphoma a curable cancer?

Yes, in most cases lymphoma can be cured with early detection and treatment.

What is the survival rate of lymphoma?

The survival rate of lymphoma is 70% - 80%.


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Written ByDr. Jagdish Shinde MD - Radiothrapy,MBBSOncology
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