What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a common type of cancer, with one million new cases being diagnosed every year in the UK alone. It can occur in people of any age, even in kids. However, it is most often treatable; usually people live long, productive lives after being diagnosed with lymphoma. This is an important fact to keep in mind when considering the treatment options for cancer patients.

Lymphoma can come in many different forms and can be classified as such based on the common symptoms that it inflicts. The first two forms are Hodgkin’s Disease and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Both of these require surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other very aggressive treatments. Hodgkin’s Disease is quite aggressive and will often attack the lymph nodes. Its symptoms include night sweats, constant fatigue, unexplained weight loss, unexplained fever and pain in the joints.

What is Lymphoma?
What is Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is usually genetic and tends to affect younger adults and people with AIDS. It tends to have a high incidence among white males and those with a family history of lymphoma. People who develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are considered to be at a higher risk for developing lymphoma in the future, especially if they have been exposed to a higher risk factor for lymphoma in the past.

The third main type of lymphoma is referred to as diffuse large cell lymphoma (CCL). This is the least common of the three forms, but accounts for nearly 25% of all lymphomas diagnosed. This form of lymphoma tends to attack the lymph nodes, and is caused by an overabundance of lymphocytes in the affected areas. Symptoms of diffuse large cell lymphoma include night sweats, weight loss, unexplained fever, nausea and pain in the joints. Diagnosis of diffuse large cell lymphoma depends on the type of cells found in the lymph node and is usually done using a biopsy. Treatment options for diffuse large cell lymphoma include surgery, radiation therapy and immunotherapy.

The fourth, and rarest type of lymphoma, are referred to as lymphocytic leukaemia. This is the most uncommon type of lymphoma, and accounts for less than one percent of all lymphomas diagnosed. Lymphocytic leukaemia is usually identified through a blood test that looks for abnormal cells developing in the blood. These cells grow too quickly and can disrupt normal cell growth. Symptoms include fatigue, anemia, fever, swollen lymph nodes and usually an unexplained rash.

The fifth most common type of lymphoma is non-Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as lymphomas that are not from the lymphatic system. This occurs when lymphocytes are produced in a way that causes them to become cancerous. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are most commonly found in the lungs, bones, liver, heart and cervix.

There are different types of lymphoma, each with different characteristics. Lymphomas can be solid, soft or liquid. Lymphomas that are solid often do not show any symptoms, while those that are made from living cells are sometimes found to have masses. The solid forms of lymphomas can be called both cancerous and non-cancerous. They can spread throughout the body through the blood, and they also can release chronic toxin substances

Lymphoma can be treated with a variety of treatments including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immune system suppressants. Surgery is used to remove masses, or tumors, and chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells and slow down the growth of new ones. The effectiveness of these treatments depends on the type of lymphoma and its location within the body. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by increasing the energy that they lose in the radiation beam, so they are less able to grow. Immunosuppressive drugs are sometimes used to treat lymphomas with a higher risk of relapse.

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