These are of two types:
- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Non Hodgkin Lymphoma
What are the Symptoms?
Lymph node swellings in the neck, axilla and groin are usually seen. Fever, Fatigue and weight loss can also occur. Lymphoma is like a chameleon and almost any system including cough, breathlessness, seizures, skin lesions etc can be associated with Lymphomas.
What is the cause of Lymphoma?
Cause is mostly unidentified. It can sometimes be associated with particular infections and autoimmune diseases.
How is it diagnosed?
It is diagnosed with the help of a Lymph node biopsy which shows these cancer cells in the lymph nodes. A bone marrow test may also be needed. Special tests like Immunohistochemistry are needed to identity the exact kind of lymphoma.
What are the stages of Lymphoma?
Staging is done to determine how much is the cancer spread. Stages range from Stage 1(minimally spread) to Stage 4, most extensively spread. Staging is done with whole body scanning like CT scans or PET scans. Sometimes Bone marrow Biopsy is also needed.
Are genetic tests needed?
Based on the genetic mutations these cancers can be divided into various risk category and various types of Lymphomas.
Why is accurate diagnosis necessary?
Accurate diagnosis determines the type of treatment and possible outcomes of the treatment so accurate diagnosis is very imperative.
What happens if the patient is not treated?
These patients can have recurrent symptoms of fatigue, bleeding and infection. Rarely the infections and bleeding can be so severe so as to cost the life of the patient.
What is the treatment?
Treatment options depends on the type of Lymphomas
Depending on the type of Lymphoma, type of chemotherapy is chosen. Pet scans are done to assess the response of chemotherapy and accordingly further chemotherapy, both the number of cycles and type of chemotherapy is determined.
Is radiation necessary?
The need for radiation is determined, based on the response to chemotherapy.
Is surgery necessary?
Surgery is usually not required in the treatment of Lymphomas
Will I need Transplant?
In certain types of high risk lymphomas transplant is needed upfront. In most other cases transplant is reserved for diseases not responding to usual chemotherapy or relapsed (disease that has come back) disease.