Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system. Although lymphoma is a serious condition, effective treatment methods can cure it if detected early enough. The lymphatic system in your body comprises lymphatic veins and lymph nodes, and it collects and filters waste products from the body in a clear fluid called lymph. Lymphocytes, white blood cells that fight infection, are also present in the body. Damaged lymphocytes can develop into lymphoma and eventually become cancerous after this injury, where they develop and multiply abnormally. The aberrant lymphocytes then lose their capacity to fend against infections.

Lymphoma

Types of Lymphoma

Hodgkin Lymphoma

The Reed-Sternberg cell, a particular type of cell, causes this specific type of lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a more inclusive word to define other lymphoma subtypes other than Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can have many forms, such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and Burkitt lymphoma.


Symptoms

Common symptoms include:


When To See A Doctor?

A number of different conditions, including the flu or a virus, can mimic the symptoms of lymphoma. If you or someone you know has these symptoms without knowing the cause, you should make a doctor's visit as soon as possible.


Causes

The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown. But it generally develops when a lymphocyte, a white blood cell that fights infection, develops a genetic mutation. The mutation directs the cell to multiply rapidly, causing a large number of sick lymphocytes that continue multiplying.

Additionally, the mutation enables the cells to remain alive when other healthy cells would have been destroyed. This causes the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver to enlarge, and an overwhelming number of sick and ineffective lymphocytes accumulate in the lymph nodes.


Risk Factors

Different risk factors can increase the risk of both types of lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Age

Most lymphomas commonly affect people who are 60 years or older. However, some types are more likely to develop in children and young adults.

Gender

Some types are more prevalent among women.

Chemicals and radiation

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been linked to nuclear radiation and certain agricultural pesticides.

Immunodeficiency

A person is more vulnerable if their immune system becomes less active. This could be caused by HIV or anti-rejection drugs taken after an organ transplant.

Autoimmune diseases

When the immune system targets the body's cells, non-Hodgkin lymphoma develops. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease.

Breast implants

These may result in breast tissue developing anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.

Hodgkin lymphoma

Risk factors for Hodgkin lymphoma include

Infectious mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This disease increases the risk of lymphoma.

Age

Lymphoma is more likely to affect people aged 20 and 30 and those over 55.

Sex

Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in males than females.

Family history

The risk of getting Hodgkin lymphoma increases if you have a family history of this condition.

HIV infection

HIV may weaken the immune system and raise lymphoma risk.


Complications

A specific form of cancer called lymphoma has an impact on the lymphatic system, which is a component of the body's immune system. Lymphoma often results in the following complications:

Spread of cancer to other body parts

The liver, lungs, and bones are only a few organs where lymphoma cells might spread from the damaged lymph nodes.

Organ damage

The growing cancer cells can harm internal organs, causing breathing difficulties,jaundice, or bone discomfort.

Anemia

Lymphoma can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness.

Increased risk of infection

Lymphoma can weaken the immune system, making it easier for a person to get conditions.

Infertility

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are two cancer therapies that may affect a patient's ability to conceive.

Second cancers

Certain treatments for lymphoma can increase the risk of developing second cancer in the future.

It is important to keep in mind that not everyone with lymphoma will have all of these side effects and that the degree of each person's problems will vary.


Prevention

The lymphatic system, a network of tissues and veins that helps defend against disease and infection, is affected by lymphoma, a specific form of cancer. Although the exact cause of lymphoma is unknown, there are preventive steps you can do to reduce your risk of developing it:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption can help keep your body healthy and reduce your cancer risk.

Boost your immune system

Strong immune system can help fight off infections and diseases, reducing your risk of developing lymphoma. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress can help boost your immune system.

Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals

You have a higher chance of developing lymphoma if you use some chemicals, such as pesticides and solvents. Use protective gear when working on these chemicals and limit exposure to them.

Get vaccinated

Some vaccinations, including the hepatitis B vaccine, can protect you from conditions that could raise your chance of getting lymphoma.

Get screened regularly

Regular checkups and screenings can help detect any changes in your health, allowing for prompt treatment if necessary.

It's important to remember that there is no guaranteed way to prevent lymphoma. By monitoring your health and being aware of potential risk factors, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing this type of cancer.


Diagnosis

During the physical examination, your doctor will look for enlarged lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are often caused by an infection related to cancer. To screen for cancer cells, you could undergo a lymph node biopsy. A tiny tissue sample from the afflicted node may be taken using a needle. To identify, stage, or treat lymphoma, you could also undergo one of the following tests:

Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy

Your doctor will extract fluid or tissue from your bone marrow, the spongy area within the bone where blood cells are produced, to look for lymphoma cells.

Chest X-ray

To create images of the inside of the chest, minimal radiation doses will be administered.

MRI

This test creates exceptionally detailed pictures of the organs inside the body using radio waves, a large magnet, and a computer.

PET scan

This imaging test examines your body for cancer cells using radioactive material.

Molecular test

By detecting changes to genes, proteins, and other components of cancer cells, this test aids your doctor in determining the type of lymphoma you have.

Blood tests

They check your blood for signs of infection, particular cell counts, and amounts of other substances.

Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

To get a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, your doctor uses a needle to reach your lower back. The transparent liquid that covers your spine and brain is called cerebrospinal fluid.


Treatment

The kind of lymphoma you have will determine the treatment options. Usually, lymphoma treatment involves

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses medications to destroy proliferating cells, such as cancer cells, rapidly. Depending on the particular medications received, the medicines may be given orally and typically injected through a vein.

Radiation therapy

High-powered energy beams, such as X-rays and protons, are used in radiation treatment to destroy cancer cells.

Bone marrow transplant

High doses of chemotherapy and radiation are used during a bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, to suppress your bone marrow. Healthy bone marrow stem cells are then injected into your bloodstream, where they go to your bones and rebuild your bone marrow.

Targeted therapy

The targeted treatment kills cancer cells through medications or other substances while preserving healthy ones.

Immunotherapy

The immune system is stimulated by immunotherapy to fight cancer more effectively. Treatments can encourage the body to produce cancer-fighting cells or assist healthy cells in recognizing and eliminating cancer cells.

Other treatments

Targeted drugs that target particular abnormalities in your cancer cells are among the additional medications used to treat lymphoma. Immunotherapy drugs kill cancer cells by stimulating your immune system. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy is a specialized procedure that uses your body's immune system's T cells to fight cancer by genetically modifying them.


Do's And Don'ts

Follow these do's and don'ts mentioned below, which may help you manage the condition and its complications.

Do’s Don’ts
Eat a healthy diet to maintain strength and energy levels. Drink alcohol and consume tobacco as they can weaken the immune system.
Stay active and exercise regularly to maintain physical fitness. Expose to large crowds and people with infections.
Get plenty of rest to help with recovery. Stop treatment without consulting a doctor.
Seek support from friends and family. Hesitate to seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.
Follow the treatment plan as recommended by the doctor. Stress as much as possible.


Care at Medicover Hospitals

Medicover hospitals has the best team of hematologists and oncologists who work collaboratively to deliver Lymphoma treatment with the highest accuracy. Our highly qualified team uses the most modern medical tools, techniques, and technologies to treat a wide range of cancer conditions. We use a multidisciplinary approach to treat lymphoma to provide comprehensive care and address all of their medical needs for a quicker and more sustained recovery.

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