Lymphoma is a cancer of the body’s defense system or infection-fighting system called the lymphatic system, which consists of lymphocytes .lymphocyte when growing abnormally or covert into cancer cells become out of control. These cells are present in lymph nodes, bone marrow, and thymus glands. Moreover, when lymphoid cells turn into cancer cells they accumulate in lymph nodes (making them swollen) thymus, and bone marrow and make the body susceptible to infections. The disease is then called lymphoma. Due to this patient starts showing symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoma:
Following are the signs and symptoms
- Swollen painless lymph nodes: swollen and painless lymph nodes in the axilla, neck, or groin area.
- Fever and night sweats: The cancerous lymphocytes’ lymphoma cells produce some chemical that increases a person’s body temperature.
- Unexplained weight loss: Weight loss is very common because the cancer cells use the body’s energy for their growth and division and also at the same time person’s body is trying to fight the cancer cells to get rid of it.
- Decrease appetite: Cancer cells release some hormones which cause a feeling of fullness and decrease appetite. in the case of lymphoma, an enlarged spleen may press the stomach which can lead to decreased appetite. Sometimes tumors in the stomach and intestine cause decreased appetite
- Abdominal distention: If the tumor starts growing in the abdomen/belly that leads to abdominal fullness and distention.
- Dry or itchy skin. This is due to dehydration as the patient’s oral intake decreases due to loss of appetite.
- Dry cough and chest tightness: Furthermore, chest tightness and continuous dry cough if the patient has a large thymus gland.
- Frequent infections: Frequent urinary, blood, or chest infections due to weakening immunity. Furthermore, a person can catch any type of infection bacterial, viral, or fungal very easily.
Types of lymphoma:
Lymphoma has following two types.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL):
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of lymphoma in which the cancerous cells contain Reed Sternberg cells. Reed Sternberg cells are abnormally large lymphocytes containing two nuclei. Furthermore, this type of lymphoma occurs mostly in young people. And it is an aggressive form.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL):
In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the lymphocytes contain a single nucleus and are not as large as in Hodgkin’s lymphoma.NHL mostly occurs in old age people.
Diagnostic Tests for Lymphoma
following are the diagnostic tests to diagnose
Patient’s Physical Examination and Medical History:
In physical examination, the patient will have enlarged lymph nodes which may involve lymph nodes of the head and neck, inguinal, and axillary lymph nodes.
Lymph node biopsy:
The exact diagnosis of it is done by testing a small piece of the swollen lymph node. On the basis of which lymphoma diagnosis is made and types are defined, either it is Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s.
CT scan or PET SCAN:
Scanning is done for the severity and staging of the disease. So, that treatment could be planned.
Bone marrow biopsy:
Bone marrow biopsy is done to rule out the involvement of bone marrow.
The Following may be the risk factors for lymphoma
- Unnecessary exposure to radiation
- Family History
- Obesity according to research there is a strong relationship between lymphoma and obesity.
- Having a weak immune system
Treatment and Management :
Chemotherapy: The first treatment choice for lymphoma is chemotherapy for both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Radiation Therapy: Radiations are administered to kill cancer cells. Radiation can reach body areas where other medicine like chemotherapy doesn’t penetrate.
Targeted therapy: Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells as well as normal cells but in targeted therapy, the medicine only targets cancer cells and kills them.
Immunotherapy: In this therapy patient’s own immune system is boosted by giving a man-made version of the immune system. This is done to kill cancer cells by the patient’s own immune system
Bone Marrow Transplant: After the completion of chemotherapy cycles, disease status is reassessed by doing PET (Proton emission tomography). If the PET scan is cleared patient is offered Autologous Bone Marrow transplantation.
Palliative care: If the disease is not responding to any treatment and the patient is terminally ill then the oncology physician decides to just manage the symptoms ease the patient’s suffering and make the patient comfortable.
Prevalence and survival of disease: for survival and prevalence data.