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Last Updated: Nov 01, 2021
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Lymphoma - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Lymphoma? Types Symptoms Causes : Diagnose Treatment Cure Recovery

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Popular Questions & Answers

My wife is getting treatment for breast cancer. Yesterday she received chemotherapy and today we have sex without precaution. Is it safe to have sex while chemo?

MD - Radiothrapy
Oncologist, Vadodara
Use precaution for sex, while on chemotherapy. If pregnancy happen, we have to go for abortion. Chemotherapy will be very toxic for fetus.

My mother had cml and is taking imatinib 400 mg once day since last 4 years .today her cbc was done where tlc count was only 1800 I am so worried please help and suggest why it has hand and what has to be done. Is it anything to worry about.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Paediatrics, PDCC Hemato-oncology
Hematologist, Delhi
This may be due to medicine effect or due to disease progression both. Need to withhold imatinib and get bcr-abl pcr done, if this report shows a high percentage value, medicine to be changed, if not detected, imatinib dosage needs reduction further.

My wife is suffering from blood cancer type aml-relapse. As per today cbc hb7, tlc 0.77 and platelets 31 and on 10.02.22, hb8, tlc 0.9 and platelets 10 now from morning she has fever and now fever is 100.4, paracetamol 650, vericoat, ceftum given but not relief. Any oncologist please reply. I want to avoid hospitalization.

MBBS, MD - Paediatrics, Fellowship - Hematology & Oncology, Renzo Gallanelo Fellowship
Hematologist, Ludhiana
As TLC is very low, she should be admitted as fever in this case is a medical emergency. I understand you are in a very tough position. What have you decided for her treatment. Are you planning to go for 2nd line therapy or not.

Hello, after total thyroid removal due to thyroid cancer i'm taking synthiroid 125 mcg daily but I have allergic reactions (rush) and I want to try tirosint or maybe other levothyroxine drug. Can I get prescription after consulting with the doctor? I can provide all necessary blood tests.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, thanks for the query. All the brands contain same drug that is levothyroxine. You may try another brand and see if the reaction does not occur. Thanks.

Hi my mother is 59 years old ,she has been a leukemia patient, now reports are fine but is on imatinib 400 mg. She is having a problem that while taking meals it gets stuck in her throat and she need to drink water with it. Why is it happening and what is the remedy for this. 2. She snores a lot during sleep .how to cure snoring problem any yoga or home remedy?

MD - Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases / Pulmonary Medicine, MBBS
Pulmonologist, Haridwar
Ok there can be multiple factors contributing in this sleep apnoea and snoring can be a part of problem please ensure. Her comorbidities are also worsening the situation. Contact me further for detailed analysis of her symptoms so I can help you w...

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