Lymphoma Treatment Center
Lymphoma | Overview
Lymphoma refers to cancer of the lymphatic system, the system of tissues keeping unwanted materials out of the body. Cancer cells spread to form a tumor (lymphoma) in the lymph nodes, spleen, or thymus gland. Lymphoma presents more often in men than in women. The cancer is often diagnosed between ages 15 and 30.
There are two major types of lymphoma – Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the more common of the two, manifests itself as tumors made from lymphocytes (white blood cells in the lymphatic system). Hodgkin’s lymphoma also spreads its cancer cells throughout the lymphatic system.
The difference between Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most prominently observed in how the cancer spreads. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer cells spread in a wild and disorderly fashion. With Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer cells spread in a more orderly and predictable fashion through the lymphatic network.
Lymphoma | Symptoms & Diagnosis
Early detection and treatment are some of the best ways to increase the chance of surviving lymphoma. Some of the early warning signs of lymphoma include:
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
The use of a blood test is common when diagnosing lymphoma. Imaging tools such as an X-ray or CT scan are also used to detect the cancer. A biopsy is sometimes used to confirm a cancer diagnosis based on a tissue sample. Once the lymphoma has been diagnosed, its stage of development is typically determined.
Lymphoma | Stages of Development
Lymphoma is typically diagnosed as being in one of four stages of development:
Stage I: The cancer is confined to a small area, typically a lymph node.
Stage II: The cancer has spread to surrounding tissues but is still limited to one section of the body.
Stage III: The cancer has spread to regions above and below the diaphragm, affecting multiple locations.
Stage IV: Several regions or organs are infected with lymphoma. Cancerous growths are well-developed.
Lymphoma | Treatment
Lymphoma is typically treated with some combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While these treatments are believed to be effective in killing cancer cells, they often induce a number of debilitating side effects such as:
- Hair loss
Stem cell transplants have also been used to fight lymphoma. Introducing healthy stem cells into the body (typically into the bone marrow) can help replace tissues destroyed by the cancer.
Lymphoma | Prognosis
The five-year survival rate for lymphoma is actually quite high. It is believed that, for cases in which the cancer has not spread widely throughout the body, the survival rate is around 80%. Having a strong support network and maintaining a positive attitude are two fantastic tools for anyone fighting the battle against cancer. Learn more about the best local doctors and treatment options today. Call or contact us online.