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Lymphoma - Symptoms & Treatment


Lymphoma is a variety of cancer that originates in lymphocytes or more rarely of histiocytes. The lymphatic system carries lymph fluid and white blood cells throughout body. Growth control is lost, and the lymphatic cells may overcrowd, invade, and destroy lymphoid tissues and metastasize (spread) to other organs. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, and helps filter out bacteria and fight disease. Most of us are familiar with the term lymph nodes, and they can develop in normal situations at any time in our lives, usually when we are sick or have an infection. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been one of the most rapidly increasing types of cancer in the United States, having more than doubled in incidence since the 1970s. The lymphatic tissue in Hodgkin's disease contains specific cells - Reed-Sternberg cells - that are not found in any other cancerous lymphomas or cancers. The good news is that although the incidence has increased, so has the survival rate. As with other cancers, the earlier you receive a diagnosis, the greater your chance for a successful treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system. Like other cancers, lymphomas, occur when cells divide too much and too fast. Hodgkin's disease. These cells distinguish Hodgkin's disease (HD) from non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs). Lymph vessels will widen into lymph nodes, and can be felt in the neck or under the arms. There are two general types of lymphomas: "Hodgkin's Disease" (named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who first recognized it in 1832) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The non-Hodgkin's lymphomas can arise in both subtypes of lymphocytes, which are known as B and T cells, but the vast majority arise in B lymphocytes. There are a small proportion of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas that are referred to as very high grade, or very aggressive. The differentiation of the various subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas is based on their microscopic appearance.

Causes of Lymphoma

The common Causes of Lymphoma :

  • Infection with the Epstein Barr virus (which causes glandular fever) may slightly increase the risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma later in life.
  • Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in younger people in their 20s although it can occur at any age
  • For example, in people who are taking medicines after an organ transplant; in people who have HIV or AIDS and some rare medical conditions that reduce immunity

Symptoms of Lymphoma

Some Symptoms of Lymphoma :

  • Weight loss.
  • Fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Night sweats.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling.
  • Itching of the skin
  • Recurring infections

Treatment of Lymphoma

  • Radiotherapy involves the use of high-energy x-rays to kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours.
  • Surgery.
  • Bone marrow transplantation is a newer type of treatment, which allows very high doses of anti-cancer drugs to be given.
  • Supportive care (for pain, fever, infection, and nausea/vomiting) .
  • Continued follow-up care (to determine response to treatment, detect recurrent disease, and manage side effects of treatment).
  • As an injection into the muscle or fat tissue.

 

 

 

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