Lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system cells. The immune system comprises several organs, such as the spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow, and the thymus gland, which work together to fight diseases. Lymphoma can affect any of these areas, leading to their dysfunction, as well as other organs in the body.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer affecting the lymphatic system, an essential part of the immune system. The disease is characterized by the uncontrolled multiplication of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that is responsible for fighting infections. These cells move through the body via the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and organs that work together to transport lymph, a clear fluid containing infection-fighting cells and waste products.
The lymph nodes, small bean-shaped structures found throughout the body, act as filters for the lymph. They contain immune cells that help to identify and destroy harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. When lymphocytes multiply uncontrollably, they can form tumors in the lymph nodes or other parts of the body, disrupting the normal functioning of the immune system.
There are more than 60 different types of lymphoma. However, they are set in two main lymphoma categories:
Lymphoma is not a common disease in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, around 89,000 people are diagnosed with lymphoma every year. In comparison, over 236,000 people in the country receive a lung cancer diagnosis yearly.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma can affect young people around 20-39, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma usually affects ages 60 to 80. Men are slightly more likely to have lymphoma than women. Like most cancers, lymphoma’s causes remain unknown. Most genetic mutations that lead to lymphoma occur spontaneously with no identifiable reason.
However, many researchers suggest that some conditions may increase the risk for lymphoma, including:
Family history of lymphoma
History of viral infections, such as HIV, mononucleosis, or Kaposi sarcoma
A weakened immune system due to illness or medical treatment
Symptoms of lymphoma can resemble those of other illnesses. Therefore, experiencing these symptoms is not necessarily an indicator of lymphoma. However, it is advised to consult with a healthcare provider if you notice any persistent changes in the body that last for more than a few weeks.
The following are common symptoms of Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin lymphoma:
Swelling of one or more lymph nodes in the armpits, neck, or groin
The type of lymphoma determines the treatment. If there is a slow-growing lymphoma, the healthcare provider may suggest active surveillance or watchful waiting before beginning treatment. Your health and symptoms will be carefully monitored during active surveillance to determine the best action. For more aggressive forms of lymphoma, some treatments include:
Bone marrow transplantation
It’s important to note that treatment acts against lymphoma cells but can also affect healthy cells, causing one or more of the following side effects:
The statistics show that 74% of people with non-Hodgkin and 89% with Hodgkin’s lymphoma live longer than five years after their initial diagnosis. It is an impressive number, given the aggressiveness of other types of cancer. Lymphoma is curable when detected early and treated correctly.
Patients living with lymphoma might benefit from creating a plan for their treatment and follow-up activities.
Here are some helpful actions:
Maintain a healthy diet
Find out how lymphoma affects daily life activities
Professional involvement in a medical treatment cost depends on your health requirements and medical insurance particularities. However, a skilled nurse is always on call to guide patients in maintaining optimal eye health and quality of life. So please feel free to call us about any inquiry or information regarding home care.