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Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

B-cell Non- Hodgkin Lymphoma

How is the treatment done?

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) is a type of blood cancer that occurs due to rapid and uncontrollable growth of B-lymphocytes (B-cells). The tumors develop in the ‘mantle zone’ of the lymph mode, and gradually make their way to the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow. Most people suffering from MCL encounter swelling of the lymph nodes or glands. Although this disease spreads rapidly, in certain cases it may take time to cause serious damage, especially affecting older men. Early symptoms of MCL include loss of appetite and weight, nausea, fatigue, fever and pain in the lower back.

MCL can be diagnosed with the help of a thorough biopsy and blood test to keep a count on the white blood cells, Computed Axial Tomography Scan and measure of certain protein levels present in the blood cells. Treatment of MCL usually depends on a number of factors such as the stage of disease, age of the patient, and their overall health condition. If detected at an early stage, there are higher chances of a successful and curable result post treatment. However, after a proper diagnosis, your treatment options may include- chemotherapy which helps in destroying the cancer cells; immunotherapy which prompts immune system to fight and kill the cancer cells; targeted therapy or medication that prevents the cancer cells to function and spread with the help of certain proteins; stem cell transplant wherein the stem cells are moved from the bone marrow to the bloodstream.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) is diagnosed by examining the cells under a microscope, a process more commonly known as biopsy. Other general tests that prove to be useful are: blood tests, x-rays and scan, bone marrow samples etc. People who undergo diagnosis at the initial stage (stage 1 or 2) can be cured with radiotherapy where only the affected areas need to be treated. In case the patient reaches the advanced stage, it is necessary to undergo a systematic treatment that affects the whole body. Indolent or low-grade MCL allows the lymphoma cells to enter your bloodstream but the lymphoma glands may not grow much. Doctors in this case usually suggest active monitoring or follow regular checkups until the patient experiences serious complications.

Fast growing or high-grade MCL requires monoclonal antibody treatment like rituximab that target certain proteins on cancer cells and destroy them; chemotherapy which allows anti-cancer drugs to destroy the cells by intravenous injection or in the form of tablets; in addition to these, there’s another option which is a combination of rituximab and chemotherapy that includes R-CVP, R-CHOP, FCR. For people who are capable to cope up with the side effects of such intensive therapies are usually given a high dose of chemotherapy drug called Cytarabine.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) is a rare form of blood cancer that grows rapidly to affect the lymph nodes and ultimately damages other body parts. People suffering from bone marrow disorders are likely to go for chemotherapy. Although MCL is more common in men than in women, it can happen to anyone. The symptoms that are most likely to be noticed are swelling and pain in the neck or groin, fatigue, people experiencing a loss of appetite and weight loss, high temperature etc.

Are there any side effects?

People undergoing a chemotherapy treatment are prone to certain complications such as dehydration, anemia, reduced number of infection fighting cells, certain drugs damaging the heart. Any person showing any of these traits, are not eligible for MCL treatment. However, in advanced stages, chemotherapy becomes inevitable.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Treatment of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) comes with a few side effects depending on the course of treatment and the patient’s immune system or health condition. The most common side effects include high fever or fatigue, nausea and diarrhea, infection and skin rashes due to frequent chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, hair loss and breathlessness, pain in the lower back and sudden numbness in certain body parts like hands or feet. It is important that you consult a doctor before you undergo any treatment for this disease. While some may be fit enough to cope up with these side effects, others may show serious and fatal health issues.

How long does it take to recover?

There are no fixed guidelines after the treatment of MCL disease. However, people are often advised to look after their health conditions after undergoing strenuous chemotherapy sessions for a prolonged time because they disrupt the immune system and ultimately result in deterioration of health. Patients are recommended to appear for regular follow ups after the span of treatment, in order to make sure the chances of MCL recurrence is low.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Recovery from MCL disorder after treatment takes time since the side effects continue for a longer period of time. Moreover, a patient’s physical fitness and immunity plays a vital role in the recovery. Low grade lymphoma treatment may take a few sessions for 3-6 months while high grade lymphoma treatment at advanced stage may take much longer period to recover from therapy and tests.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The expense of undergoing chemotherapy treatment in India roughly accounts to Rs. 30,000- Rs. 1,000,00 per session. Before going for the therapy, certain diagnostic procedures are followed which include biopsy, scans, and blood tests. For foreign citizens, the cost of treatment may still be 60-70% higher than the estimated price mentioned above.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

While about 50-90% of people respond to combination chemotherapy, 30% show an active response to the treatment, and only 5-10% patients survive for about 10 years. Treatment of MCL does not always guarantee complete recovery from the disease. The cancer may relapse and cause severe health complications in a later time.

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi Sir/Madam, I'm diagnosed as cml I'm on treatment with tab imatinib 400 mg. Now my WBC count is normal, how many years can I live, can I marry a girl & lead a happy life. Please suggest to me.

MB BS, MD - Psychiatry, MBA - Healthcare
Psychiatrist, Davanagere
It seems like you are an otherwise healthy person, a man who is 6 ft tall and 75 kgs. Your current wbc count is normal and you are on treatment for imatinib. With regards to your prognosis of cml your oncologist should have told you about how thin...

Hii sir I was taking methotrexate only from 1.5 month ago to control psoriasis, and I leave methotrexate before 1 month from my wife conceive. Is my baby safe from all side effects please help and reply thank u.

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Thane
Don't panic. Currently there are no studies which can link you taking methotrexate and wife getting pregnant during that time.

I am presently 24 year old man and 20 days ago, I went to a doctor for some anxiety related issues. He took my weight and it was the same as 6 months ago. It had not changed. He asked me to get a cbc test done as a part of routine checkup. I got it done 3 days ago and got the reports. I saw something truly abnormal and unexpected which has shocked me. My rbc is 6.0, hemoglobin 13.70,platelets 1.95, hematocrit 41.7%, rdw is slightly high at 16.8%, low mcv, low mch and normal mchc values. What's scary is the abnormal wbc count 11.50, lymphocytes 47%, neutrophil 44%, eosinophil and monocyte, basophil normal. The serious cause of concern is the absolute lymphocyte which is 5.17.that's alarming. Plus there is no apparent reason for these abnormal wbc values. I do not have any visible cause like fever or viral infection to which I can attribute this outcome. For the past 3 days, I am having moderate continuous pain in the area near my right elbow. Just above right elbow on the backward side of the arm. I suspect it to be plans with lymph nodes at that region. The pain often goes up towards right and upper back of shoulder and neck. Do not know whether it is muscular pain or serious pblm with lymph nodes. I feel tired, dizzy and had been diagnosed with acute vitamin d deficit in october 2018. My appetite is gone and I do lack proper nutrition. I feel lethargic and am extremely panicked. For some time around 4 days, I am feeling internally feverish and having body aches. My body temp was at 99.2 2 days ago but came down and now is around 98 or 98.6.i am scared about whether this is lymphoma because my grandma died 2 years ago of leukemia. And I read that lymphoma causes pain in lymph nodes and abnormal lymphocytes. But, I do not observe any inflammation of right elbow area to the naked eye. The method in which the cbc was done is flowcytometry and microscopy and nothing was mentioned about abnormal lymphocytes. Could it be lymphoma? Before going to a specialist, I would beg for an advice here.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user, nervousness or anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical ...
2 people found this helpful

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