Lymphoma is a wide word for cancer that starts in lymph system cells. Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the two most common forms (NHL). Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually curable. The prognosis of NHL varies depending on the kind. Learn more about lymphoma therapy, research, and clinical trials by reading the article below.
What Is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a dangerous form of cancer that many have heard about, it affects and damages the lymphatic system, which is a component of the body’s germ-fighting mechanism. Oncologists are physicians specialized in treating lymphoma, as well as various types of cancer.
Lymph nodes (lymph glands), spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow are all part of the lymphatic system, and lymphoma can affect all of these locations.
Even though lymphoma comes with a wide variety of different types, two of the most common ones are Hodgkin’s lymphoma (formerly called Hodgkin’s disease) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Different kinds of lymphocyte cells are involved in non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. Each form of lymphoma develops at a distinct rate and reacts to therapy differently.
Lymphoma is relatively curable, and the prognosis varies depending on the kind and stage of lymphoma. Your doctor can assist you in determining the best treatment for your illness’s kind and stage.
Causes of Lymphoma
In the vast majority of instances, scientists have no idea what causes lymphoma. However, it is said that your chance of having lymphoma will increase If you do any of the following:
- For non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you must be in your 60s or older.
- For Hodgkin lymphoma, you must be between the ages of 15 and 40 or older than 55.
- Males, yet some subtypes may be more prevalent in females.
- Have a weakened immune system as a result of HIV/AIDS, an organ transplant, or a genetic immunological disorder.
- Have rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, or celiac disease. These are all immune system diseases.
- Have been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, or human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma? (HTLV-1).
- Have a close cousin who was diagnosed with lymphoma.
- Were exposed to benzene or insecticides and weed killers.
- Were previously treated for Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Painless Lymph nodes (swollen glands) in the neck, armpit, or groin that are painless
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Persistent fatigue
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
Many of these signs and symptoms might also indicate the presence of other disorders. Therefore, see a local physician immediately If you have any persistent signs or symptoms that concern you.
A hematologist is usually the one that will do a physical examination of your body, they will look for enlarged lymph nodes. If you are interested in this career, take a look at the specialties, education, and career prospects of a hematologist that we provide. Note that these nodes may not necessarily indicate that you have cancer as swollen lymph nodes are typically caused by an infection that is unrelated to cancer.
A lymph node biopsy may be performed to look for cancer cells. A doctor will remove all or part of a lymph node for this test, or withdraw a bit of tissue from the afflicted node using a needle.
One of these tests may be used to help diagnose, stage, or manage lymphoma:
- Aspiration or biopsy of the bone marrow. To examine lymphoma cells, your doctor uses a needle to extract fluid or tissue from your bone marrow (the spongy portion within the bone where blood cells are formed).
- X-ray of the chest. It will be done by taking photos of the interior of your chest using modest amounts of radiation.
- MRI. A technician will create images of your organs and structures within your body using strong magnets and radio waves.
- A positron emission tomography (PET) scan This imaging test looks for cancer cells in your body using radioactive material.
- Molecular analysis. This test looks for alterations in genes, proteins, and other chemicals in cancer cells, which can help your doctor determine which form of lymphoma you have.
- Tests on the blood. These tests look at the number of specific cells in your blood, the amounts of other chemicals in your blood, and any signs of infection.
As you can see, lymphoma is a dangerous type of cancer because it grows within the immune system itself. It’s crucial to know the form of lymphoma you have since it influences your treatment options and prognosis. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure which type you have, so you can acquire the correct information.