Lymphoma is an umbrella term for cancers that start in the lymphatic system. These are tissue organs that produce, store and carry white blood cells that fight infections. Lymph nodes serve as filters, engulfing and eliminating germs and viruses to stop the spread of infection.
There are two main types of lymphoma:
The two forms of lymphoma can occur in children, teens, and adults.
The exact causes of lymphoma are not yet fully known. However, research has found many links attributed to lymphoma. Examples include:
If your doctor suspects lymphoma, a biopsy is likely to be done. This will involve removing cells from an enlarged lymph node which will be examined by a hematopathologist to determine if lymphoma cells are present and what cell type they are.
Should the hematopathologist detect lymphoma cells, further testing can be done to identify how far cancer has spread. These tests can include:
Treatment of lymphoma involves a multidisciplinary team of medical specialists:
The course of treatment for lymphoma is determined by the type of lymphoma a patient has, the stage of the illness, his/her age, and general health.
To indicate how far the cancerous cells have progressed, doctors will stage a tumor. Unlike stage 4 tumor which has progressed to other organs like the lungs or bone marrow, a stage 1 tumor is restricted to a small number of lymph nodes.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphocytes tumors are also graded on their rate of growth in the following way:
A person’s prognosis after lymphoma diagnosis depends on the stage and the type of lymphoma. There are numerous treatable and largely curable forms of lymphoma.
Additionally, certain lymphoma varieties progress slowly or indolently, because the prognosis is still favorable in the long run despite the lymphoma in this scenario, doctors decide not to treat it.
There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, while non-Hodgkin lymphoma includes a diverse group of lymphomas with different subtypes.
The treatment of lymphoma depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the lymphoma, the patient's age and overall health, and other individual considerations. Common treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and stem cell transplant.
The prognosis for lymphoma depends on several factors, including the type, stage, and aggressiveness of the lymphoma, as well as the patient's overall health and response to treatment. Many types of lymphoma are highly treatable, and the prognosis has improved significantly with advancements in treatment options. However, the prognosis can vary widely, and it is best to discuss individual cases with a healthcare professional.