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Overview

Lymphoma - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

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.

Causes :

In most cases scientists aren’t aware of the cause of lymphoma. You are more disposed to having it if:

  • You are above 60 years in age
  • You are male
  • You have weakened immunity due to an immune system disorder like Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease or lupus
  • You are infected by viruses like hepatitis C, human herpes virus 8 or Epstein-Barr
  • You are related to someone having lymphoma
  • You have had an exposure to chemicals like benzene
  • You have had treatment before for non-Hodgkin or Hodgkin lymphoma
  • You have a high Body Mass Index
  • There has been radiation therapy done on you for cancer

A doctor can check for enlarged lymph nodes and will look for lymphoma symptoms. This doesn’t usually imply that there are cancer cells. A biopsy may be needed to detect cancer cells. To do this, a part or the entire lymph node may be removed. Another way to do this is to take small amounts of tissue from the node affected. The treatment depends on the kind lymphoma and the extent of its spread.

The main non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatments are:

  • Chemotherapy- Drugs are used to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy- High energy rays are used to kill cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy – The body’s immune system starts attacking cancer cells

The main Hodgkin lymphoma treatments are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Stem-cell transplant may be needed if the above treatments don’t have any effect. The cancer cells get killed by this treatment, but stem cells present in the bone marrow also get destroyed.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
Swollen lymph nodes usually in the groin, neck and armpit Fatigue Itching Weight loss Night Sweats

Popular Health Tips

APML - Is Chemotherapy The Only Way Out?

MBBS, DM - Oncology, MD - General Medicine
Oncologist, Nashik
APML - Is Chemotherapy The Only Way Out?

There are more than hundred varieties of blood cancer, but the most common ones are leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of leukemia, is when the white blood cells in the marrow begin to grow uncontrollably. This is an acute condition and both the onset and progress are very rapid. The cause is not known, and given the rapid progress, even treatment is often difficult. A more severe form of AML is the APML which is acute promyelocytic leukemia, which leads to reduced number of white and red blood cells and plasma.

This causes the following symptoms:

  • Anemia
  • Increased incidence of infections
  • Excessive bleeding from even minor cuts
  • Bleeding from nose and gums
  • Easy bruising
  • Blood in the urine
  • Extreme paleness and tiredness

What is different about APML?

There is one distinguishing factor with APML, which is that they contain a protein which when released into the bloodstream can cause severe bleeding, which may be very difficult to control. Chemotherapy kills these cells and so releases the proteins into the bloodstream. These cells need to be managed without chemotherapy, as the patient can even die of uncontrolled bleeding. With medical advances, two non-chemotherapy agents have been identified – all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA, vesanoid, or tretinoin) and arsenic trioxide (ATO or trisenox).

  1. ATRA: This is a type of vitamin A which is used either alone, in combination with chemo, in combination with arsenic trioxide, and also in combination with both chemo and arsenic trioxide. The effect is different in different people – helps control spread, helps prevent recurrence, and helps control symptoms. In many people, it has been successfully used instead of chemotherapy. ATRA is also used as a long-term maintenance agent. Side effects from ATRA include fever, dry skin, rashes, mouth sores, increased cholesterol, and swollen feet. These go away with stoppage of the drug.
  2. ATO: Arsenic is poisonous when given in large amounts. However, it was discovered that it could be used to treat APML with effects similar to ATRA. It is used alone, in combination with chemotherapy, with ATRA, or with both. It helps control the growth of cells and also helps in long-term maintenance therapy. ATO dosage needs to be monitored as it can cause heart rhythm issues.

With both these drugs, there is a significant side effect, known as differentiation syndrome. Often seen during the first cycle of treatment, this happens when the leukemia cells release a protein into the blood. Symptoms include fever, breathing, kidney damage, and severe fluid buildup. With these two drugs being widely used effectively, chemotherapy is not the only treatment option for APML. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3303 people found this helpful

Lymphoma - 10 Tips To Help You Deal With It!

FACS, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Gurgaon
Lymphoma - 10 Tips To Help You Deal With It!

Suffering from any degenerative or terminal disease like lymphoma can be really tough. It takes a huge toll on your mental health. Whether you are suffering from it or someone close to you, the impact is extremely painful and going through each day is a fight in itself. But, you must struggle. Just to minimize your anguish a little bit more, here are some ways to cope with the lymphoma:

  1. Be open about your disease: Try to talk about your disease with other people as much as possible. Talk about what you are going through. How it is making you feel, how painful it is. Share all of your feelings. Don’t be ashamed or feel bad about your disease.
  2. Deal with fear and scare: There is no point in minimizing the fact that you will be afraid and scared. But try to calm yourself down. Think about your options for treatment and consult your doctor about them. Learning about the possible treatments will make you feel safe.
  3. Try to engage in physical activities: As much as your body permits try to engage yourself in physical activities like walking, simple exercises, yoga, and other physical activities. It will help to keep your stress level in check.
  4. Get out: Don’t confine yourself to your home as it may lead to depression. Engage in daily activities like going to a grocery store, a shopping mall, a club or just for a stroll in the park. Calling your friends or your family and going out for a coffee can help a great deal.
  5. Think about financial matters: Dealing with a long-term disease can be really stressful not only emotionally but also financially. This makes it extremely important to plan your finances well. If you have health care insurance, try to go over with your agent on how much you will be covered and save money accordingly.
  6. Handle your work life: About work, talk with HRD at your office and tell him/her about your medical condition and how well you are prepared to deal with the work designated for you.
  7. Don’t push people away: In most cases, due to prolonged illness, the patients become hopeless and tries to push people close to them away. They find it extremely difficult to cope with the disease, so try to keep your loved ones as close to you as possible. If someone comes forward with a helping hand, accept it.
  8. Managing side effects: The side effects of the treatment can affect you as well. Try to go over them with your doctor before starting your treatment.
  9. Facing infertilityConceiving children can be a problem during this period. If you are planning to have children, consult a fertility doctor and check your options.
  10. Deal with relapse: If you have cancerous cells, you must be prepared for a relapse. However, it will be easier to deal with a relapse as you know what to expect and which way to go.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2061 people found this helpful

Risk Factors Associated With Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma!

MD - Radiothrapy, MBBS
Oncologist, Pune
Risk Factors Associated With Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma!

Non Hodgkin Lymphoma is when the cells in your lymphatic system become cancerous. The lymphatic system is responsible for fighting off diseases, which may attack your body. Initially, tumors develop from the lymphocytes in your body. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is much more common than the other type of lymphoma which is Hodgkin lymphoma. There are various types of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; the most common of which are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. Here is everything you need to know about Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Symptoms
1. Swollen lymph nodes: A swollen lymph node in the neck, underarm and armpit which comes about without any pain is a very common symptom of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
2. Fever: When you have a sudden unexplained fever, it may be due to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
3. Night sweats: Night sweats are simply when you sweat excessively in the night.
4. Fatigue: Feeling extremely tired can be due to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
5. Weight loss: A sudden unexplained loss of weight is a very common symptom of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
6. Itchiness: An itchy skin is a rather serious indicator of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Causes
Just like other forms of cancer, it is not known what causes Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but there are factors, which put you more at risk compared to others.

Risk factors
1. Immunosuppressive drugs: You are most likely to develop Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, especially after taking immunosuppressive drugs after a major organ transplant.
2. Bacteria and viruses: Certain bacterial and viral infections cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma including the HIV and Epstein-Barr virus as well as the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
3. Pesticides: Research suggests that overexposure to the pesticides which kill weeds increases your likelihood of developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
4. Age: Elder people are also more likely to suffer from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Treatment
1. ChemotherapyChemotherapy comprises of administering drugs to kill the cancerous cells, either through injection or orally which kill cancer.
2. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy deals with radiation which is directed at the parts of your body affected by cancer.
3. Medications to enhance the immune system: There are many medications which fight off cancer by boosting the immune system. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.

2150 people found this helpful

All About Multiple Myeloma

European Society For Medical Oncology certification, DM - Oncology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS, Fellowship in Bone Marrow Transplant
Oncologist, Faridabad
All About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer similar to lymphoma and leukemia. Normally, plasma cells make antibodies which are responsible for fighting off infectious diseases. With multiple myeloma, however, they release too much of a protein known as immunoglobulin. Due to the excess buildup of protein in the body, organ damage occurs. Multiple myeloma cannot be cured, it can only have its progression slowed down. Here is everything you need to know about multiple myeloma:

Causes:
Just like with other forms of cancer, the exact cause of multiple myeloma is not known. However, there are several risk factors which are responsible for increasing your chances of suffering from multiple myeloma.

Risk Factors:

  1. Age: Age poses as one of the most important risk factors. Being over 65 increases your chances of getting multiple myeloma, according to studies.
  2. Race: African-Americans are more likely to get multiple myeloma compared to other races.
  3. Genetics: Multiple myeloma is more likely to happen if a family member has it as well.
  4. Other Diseases: Solitary plasmacytoma, MGUS and other plasma related diseases make you more likely to develop multiple myeloma.

Symptoms: 

  • Bone pain or bone fractures
  • Fatigue
  • Increased vulnerability to infections
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Restlessness – eventually followed by extreme weakness and fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Increased thirst
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Impaired kidney function

Diagnosis: 

Your doctor may test you for multiple myeloma if a blood test reveals:

  1. Too much calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia)
  2. Anemia 
  3. Kidney problems
  4. High protein levels in your blood combined with a low albumin level (globulin gap)

Treatment:

There is no cure for multiple myeloma; however with good treatment you can resume normal activities. Here are the treatment options-

  1. Biological therapy: These are medications given in pill form which enhance the body's immune system; so that it can fight off myeloma cells.
  2. Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is when cancerous cells are killed by targeting the abnormalities within them. These are given through a vein in your arm.
  3. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy kills all the cells which are growing at a rapid rate. These drugs can be given through injection or orally.
  4. Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are medicines which regulate the immune system by controlling the inflammation in the body. Corticosteroids can be taken in pill form or even through injections.
  5. Stem Cells Transplant: An autologous stem cell transplant is recommended for all eligible and suitable patients of multiple myeloma under 65 yrs of age, who show a good response to initial therapy, as it has been proven to improve survival. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2121 people found this helpful

HIV - Can It Lead To Testicular Cancer?

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Urology
Urologist, Bangalore
HIV - Can It Lead To Testicular Cancer?

Here are a few things you should know about Testicular Cancer (TC): 

  1. Age: The commonest affected age group is 20-45 years with germ cell tumours. Half of all cases occur in men less than 35 years. Non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT) are more common at ages 20-35, while seminoma is more common at age 35-45 years. Rarely, infants and boys below 10 years develop yolk sac tumours and 50% men above 60 years with TC have lymphoma.
  2. Race: White Caucasian people living in Europe and the US have the highest risk. Whites are three times more likely to develop TC than blacks in the US. With the exception of the New Zealand Maoris, TC is rare in non-Caucasian races.
  3. Previous TC: Confers a 12-fold increased risk of metachronous TC. Bilateral TC occurs in 1-2% of cases.
  4. Cryptorchidism: 5-10% of TC patients have a history of cryptorchidism. Ultrastructural changes are present in these testes by age 3 years, although earlier orchidopexy does not completely eliminate the risk of developing TC. According to a large Swedish study, cryptorchidism is associated with a two-fold increased risk of TC in men who underwent orchiopexy less than 13 year, but risk is increased 5-fold in men who underwent orchiopexy aged above13 years. A meta-analysis showed risk of contralateral TC almost doubles while ipsilateral TC risk is increased 6-fold in men with unilateral cryptorchidism.
  5. Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (testicular intraepithelial neoplasia, TIN): Synonymous with carcinoma in situ, although the disease arises from malignant change in spermatogonia; 50% of cases develop invasive germ cell TC within 5 years. The population incidence is 0.8%. Risk factors include cryptorchidism, extragonadal germ cell tumour, atrophic contralateral testis, 45XO karyotype, Klinefelter's syndrome, previous or contralateral TC (5%), and infertility.
  6. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): Patients develop seminoma 35% more frequently than expected. Genetic factors: appear to play a role, given that first-degree relatives are at higher risk by 4-9-fold, but a defined familial inheritance pattern is not apparent.
  7. Maternal oestrogen exposure: At higher than usual levels during pregnancy appears to increase risk of cryptorchidism, urethral anomalies, and TC in male offspring.

Trauma and viral-induced atrophy have not been convincingly implicated as risk factors for TC. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Urologist.

3172 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 28 year old female and suffering from swollen lymph nodes on right hand side of abdomen. I have been taking taxim o 200 for a couple of days How can eradicate this problem completely?

MBBS, MD, FICH
Hematologist, Ludhiana
First of all right side of abdomen more correctly I think it must be inguinal and they are palpable that means there is significant lymphadenopathy. So don't delay much if you are not having any active infection or any other problem and not responding to antibiotic. Go for fnac.
1 person found this helpful

Is there any oral medicine for Lymphoma (NHFL) such as tablet, other than chemotherapy?

PDDM, MHA, MBBS
General Physician, Nashik
There are 4 main treatments for NHL: Chemotherapy. Radiation therapy. Immunotherapy, such as monoclonal antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and CAR T-cells. Targeted therapy with newer drugs that block certain functions within the lymphoma cell.
2 people found this helpful

Sir, I have lymphoma nodes in hole my body and it size is day by day increase .pl suggest me how I can can control it?

M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition, B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition, PG Diploma in Dietetics & Nutrition Management
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Visakhapatnam
Add more of protein to your diet (pulses, milk-based products). Consume whole grains, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits. Avoid red meat (mutton, prawn, crab). Instead opt for egg whites, white meat (chicken and fish). Either in roasted or steamed form. Most importantly, indulge yourself in cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming or aerobics.
3 people found this helpful

Hi doctor, I was affected by lymphoma first stage past 5 years before. So I took chemotherapy and radiation. Now I'm perfectly cured from that. But I lose my hair. I did not have dense hair after I took chemotherapy and radiation. Is there is any possibility to get back my hair naturally or I have to move with plantation? Please suggest me. Now I'm only 25.

BAMS
Ayurveda, Zirakpur
Since Your hair fall is due to side effects of chemotherapy, there are chances of hair regrowth. 1.Make a mixture my mixing 200gms of amla powder and 100gms of bhringraj powder , take 1 tsp of it twice daily with water empty stomach. 2.Drink plenty of water daily. 3.Take giloy tablets, 1 tablet thrice a day with water empty stomach. It will help improve your immunity. 4.Use ayurvedic shampoos tgat are chemical free. 5.Apply aloepecia cream of himalaya on your scalp .
2 people found this helpful