Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the lymphocytes, part of the immune system. Lymphoma can develop in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood, or other organs. Lymphoma gets classified into Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There are different lymphoma subtypes, and each subtype has its own set of symptoms and treatment options.
Lymphoma is usually diagnosed with medical tests, including a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to diagnose lymphoma definitively. Lymphoma treatment includes some combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. The specific treatment plan will vary depending on the type and stage of lymphoma.
In general, lymphoma is a treatable cancer with a good prognosis. The five-year survival rate for lymphoma is about 70%. However, lymphoma can come back after treatment (relapse), so ongoing monitoring is essential even after completing treatment.
Hodgkin's lymphoma is the more common of the two types, accounting for about 10% of all lymphomas. It is more likely to occur in young adults and adolescents. There are four subtypes of Hodgkin's lymphoma, classified according to the type of cell involved:
-Nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's lymphoma
-Mixed cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma
-Lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin's lymphoma
-Classical Hodgkin's lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the less common type of lymphoma, accounting for about 90% of all lymphomas. It can occur at any age but is more likely in adults over 60. There are many different subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, classified according to the type of cell involved:
-T cell lymphomas
-B cell lymphomas
-Natural killer cell lymphomas
-Precursor T cell lymphomas
-Precursor B cell lymphomas
-Cutaneous T cell lymphomas
The symptoms and treatment options for each type and stage of lymphoma vary.
There are several risk factors for lymphoma, including:
-Age: Lymphoma can occur at any age but is more common in adults over 60.
-Gender: Lymphoma is slightly more common in men than in women.
-Family history: Having a family member with lymphoma increases your risk of developing the disease.
-Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or certain types of cancer, are at increased risk for lymphoma.
-Exposure to certain chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides, may increase your risk of lymphoma.
If a person has any of these risk factors, it does not mean that they will develop lymphoma. However, it is crucial to be aware of the risks to take steps to reduce them.
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of lymphoma:
Lymphoma treatment typically includes some combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. The specific treatment plan will vary depending on the type and stage of lymphoma.
Hodgin's Lymphoma Treatment:
-Stage I: Chemotherapy
-Stage II: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
-Stage III: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
-Stage IV: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment:
-Low grade (indolent): Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy
-High grade (aggressive): Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy
The specific drugs used in chemotherapy will vary depending on lymphoma. Commonly used drugs include:
-Platinum drugs (cisplatin, carboplatin)
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation typically gets used in combination with chemotherapy. The specific radiation therapy regimen will vary depending on the type and stage of lymphoma.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the body's immune system to fight cancer. It is typically used with other therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The specific immunotherapy regimen will vary depending on the type and stage of lymphoma.
Lymphoma can come back after treatment. The risk of recurrence is highest in the first five years after treatment, but it can occur. If a person has a recurrence of lymphoma, their doctor will develop a new treatment plan based on the type of lymphoma and how it responds to previous treatments.
There is no sure way to prevent lymphoma. However, a person can do things to reduce their risk, such as avoiding exposure to chemicals and getting vaccinated against the flu.