What is lymphoma?

A kind of cancer that affect the lymph system or lymphatic system is known as ‘lymphoma’. Formation of hard tumors in the immune system is the main characteristic of lymphoma. The white blood cells and lymphocytes are mainly affected by this type of cancer. According to the type of immune cells affected, lymphatic cancer is classified into- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

What are the causes of lymphoma?

Experts are still unaware of the exact causes of lymphoma. Like many other cancer forms, lymphoma’s causes are also unknown. Studies are still going on to find out the exact cause of lymphoma.

What are the signs and symptoms of lymphoma?

Lymphoma may trigger various symptoms in the patients. Some of them may indicate other conditions. Swelling in the lymph nodes is the most common symptom of lymphoma. In most cases, the swelling will not cause any pain. Swelling can be noticeable in the areas such as the armpit, neck and groin. Certain other symptoms of lymphoma may include:

  • Fatigue

  • High temperature

  • Heavy sweating, especially at night

  • Itching

  • Breathlessness

  • Cough

  • Vomiting or abdominal pain after drinking alcohol

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

How is lymphoma diagnosed?

Lymphoma may not get routine screening like all other types of cancers. Analysing the signs and symptoms is the first-line diagnosis. The doctor may even check the medical history of the patient. Apart from a physical examination, the doctor will also suggest the following tests:

  • Biopsy

  • Chest X-rays

  • Blood tests

  • Bone marrow

  • MRI

  • Ultrasound

  • Spinal Tap

  • CT

Some of the above tests are not done to diagnose the disease. They are suggested to find the stage of lymphoma.

How is lymphoma treated?

As the causes are unknown, preventing the disease is not possible. There are a number of treatment options available to treat lymphoma. However, there are various factors which may affect the success rate of the treatment. Some of the most prevalent treatment options are the following:

  • Radiotherapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Immunological therapy

  • Stem cell transplantation

  • Surgery (very rare)