Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system.
What is lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Who's at risk for lymphoma?
Risk factors for lymphoma may include:
- Age: Lymphoma is more common in individuals over the age of 60.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop lymphoma than women.
- Family history: Having a close relative with lymphoma may increase the risk of developing the disease.
- Weakened immune system: Individuals with a weakened immune system, such as those with HIV/AIDS or who have received an organ transplant, may be at increased risk of lymphoma.
What causes lymphoma?
The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown. However, certain genetic and environmental factors may increase the risk of developing lymphoma.
How does lymphoma start?
Lymphoma may start in the lymph nodes or other lymphatic tissues, such as the spleen or bone marrow. The cancerous cells can then spread to other parts of the body.
What are the symptoms of lymphoma?
Symptoms of lymphoma may include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
How is lymphoma diagnosed?
A healthcare provider may perform several tests to diagnose lymphoma. These tests may include:
- Biopsy: This involves removing a small sample of tissue from the affected lymph node or other lymphatic tissue for examination under a microscope.
- Imaging tests: These tests, such as CT scans or PET scans, can help determine the extent of the cancer.
- Blood tests: These tests can help determine the presence of abnormal cells or other signs of lymphoma.
How can lymphoma be treated?
Treatment for lymphoma may depend on the type and stage of the cancer. Treatment options may include:
- Chemotherapy: This involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: This involves the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy: This involves the use of drugs that help the immune system target and kill cancer cells.
- Stem cell transplant: This involves replacing the diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow.
What complications may occur with lymphoma?
Complications of lymphoma may include:
- Spread of cancer to other parts of the body
- Side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea or hair loss
- Weakened immune system, increasing the risk of infections
How can I prevent lymphoma?
There is no sure way to prevent lymphoma. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, may help reduce the risk of developing lymphoma.
Long-term management of lymphoma
Long-term management of lymphoma may involve:
- Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to monitor symptoms and check for any signs of recurrence.
- Taking medications as prescribed to control symptoms and prevent recurrence.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.
What is recent research saying about lymphoma?
Recent research on lymphoma includes:
- Researchers are exploring new immunotherapy treatments that use genetically engineered immune cells to target and kill cancer cells.
- A study found that a drug called lenalidomide may be effective in treating certain types of lymphoma.
- Researchers are also exploring the use of new imaging techniques, such as PET/MRI scans, to better diagnose and monitor lymphoma.
Where can I go for more information on lymphoma?
The American Cancer Society and the Lymphoma Research Foundation are both helpful resources for information on lymphoma. It is also important to work closely with a healthcare provider for guidance and support in managing lymphoma.