Lymphoma

Lymphoma


lymphoma


Lymphoma is a characteristic manifestation of abnormality in the T lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. This is a type of cancer that begins in immune system. In general, it occurs when lymphocytes are multiplying and growing at an abnormal pace. These abnormal lymphocytes stagnates in and around the lymph nodes such as the spleen or tonsils which eventually turn into a tumor. It just takes one's health and energy away because these tumor cells grow and invade surrounding tissues and organs for their oxygen and nutritional needs, etc.A lymph node can be intra nodal or extra nodal. An extra nodal lymph node can go beyond the limits of lymph node and reach lungs, vascular system and multiple organs of our body.

 

What are the types of lymphomas?

There are two major types of lymphoma:

  1. Hodgkin lymphoma
  2. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin was the first person who discovered this illness.


Cause of lymphoma

Though there are several factors predisposing and causing lymphomas, scientists still do not know the exact cause due to the lack of proper evidence. Some of the risk and causative factors are described below.

 


Hereditary: Gene mutations and familial tendencies may contribute to this lymphoma.
Exposure to Carcinogens:
These can be drugs, irritants, exposure to certain pesticides and herbicides, dyes, colors where benzene content is a major risk for lymphoma.

Age factor: Victims usually are in range of ages 16-34, and 55 years and older.

Other factors: Prenatal factors like poor nutrition during pregnancy, poor life style, vitamin deficiencies especially contribute to this.

What are the clinical symptoms of lymphomas?

  1. Symptoms are the result of both intra nodal and extra nodal, so the symptoms can either be local as well as systemic. Initially it starts with swelling in the neck or groin.
  2. If the condition gets advanced, other organs such as spleen, peripheral blood vessels, nerves, and stomach slowly be affected. It further spreads to both upper and lower limbs.
  3. General symptoms for lymphoma are fever, chills, night sweats, lethargic feeling, itching and unexplained weight loss.

Lymphomas can be diagnosed easily!

  1. General examination reveals pain in the throat. Symptoms can be fluid filled in stomach, abdominal pain, organ enlargement and fluid accumulation.
  2. Previous history of viral infections can give a clue to the doctor.
  3. Fine needle aspiration can reveal tumor cell type and specifications.
  4. Apart from all the above: common blood tests like complete blood count, blood chemistry, bone marrow biopsy, lumbar puncture to check nervous system involvement are the diagnosis methods for lymphoma.
  5. Imaging studies can show swollen nodes and cell changes.

Treatment of lymphomas

Treatment is entirely based upon the staging and grading, whether it is intra nodal or extra nodal, age of the person and the degree of metastasis, etc. The choice can be chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Symptomatic management and the ultimate choice is the surgery. Most of the time, combination of therapies are ideal.

Adverse effects of chemotherapy needs to be watched carefully. Both short term and long term effects have to be observed. Some short-term effects are like hair loss, skin discoloration, allergic reactions like nausea and vomiting. Long term effects are organ failure such as renal failure.

Advanced therapies: Radio isotopes can be directly implanted under nodes to kill those abnormal cells to prevent systemic effects.