Lymphoma

Posted September 14, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read

Lymphoma is cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. These cells are in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body. When you have lymphoma, lymphocytes change and grow out of control.

Causes of Lymphomas

Scientists don’t know what causes lymphoma in most cases.

You might be more at risk if you:

  • Are in your 60s or older for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Are between 15 and 40 or older than 55 for Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Are male, although certain subtypes may be more common in females

  • Have a weak immune system from HIV/AIDS, an organ transplant, or because you were born with an immune disease

  • Have an immune system disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sj√∂gren’s syndrome, lupus, or celiac disease

  • Have been infected with a virus such as Epstein-Barr, hepatitis C, or human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (HTLV-1)

  • Have a close relative who had lymphoma

  • Were exposed to benzene or chemicals that kill bugs and weeds

  • Were treated for Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the past

  • Were treated for cancer with radiation

Types of Lymphomas

There are two main types of lymphoma:

  • Non-Hodgkin: Most people with lymphoma have this type.

  • Hodgkin

Symptoms of Lymphomas

Warning signs of lymphoma include:

  • Swollen glands (lymph nodes), often in the neck, armpit, or groin that are painless

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever

  • Night sweats

  • Fatigue

  • Weight loss

  • Itching

Diagnosis of Lymphomas

Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy

Your doctor uses a needle to remove fluid or tissue from your bone marrow – the spongy part inside bone where blood cells are made to look for lymphoma cells.

Chest X-ray

It will be done using low doses of radiation radiation to make images of the inside of your chest.

MRI

A technician will use powerful magnets and radio waves to make pictures of organs and structures inside your body.

PET scan

This imaging test uses a radioactive substance to look for cancer cells in your body.

Molecular test

This test is used to find changes to genes, proteins, and other substances in cancer cells to help your doctor figure out which type of lymphoma you have.

Blood tests

These check the number of certain cells, levels of other substances, or evidence of infection in your blood.

Treatment of Lymphomas

The treatment you get depends on what type of lymphoma you have and its stage.

The main treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are:

  • Chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer cells

  • Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells

  • Immunotherapy, which uses your body’s immune system to attack cancer cells

  • Targeted therapy that targets aspects of lymphoma cells to curb their growth

The main treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma are:

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiation therapy

  • Immunotherapy

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