A Layman’s Guide To Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a type of carcinoma that strikes the lymphatic system in the body, making the immune system incapable of warding off pathogenic attacks. Read on to gain a better understanding of this disease that has become frighteningly common of late.
A healthy immune system is like an inbuilt armor that helps keep disease-carrying foreign invaders at bay. Unfortunately, though, this internal mechanism is itself vulnerable to a variety of illnesses that can weaken it, therefore, making it ineffective in its primary task of protecting the body. One of the most severe conditions to affect the immune system is Lymphoma, a form of cancer that originates in lymphocytes, commonly known as white blood cells.
What is Lymphoma?
Lymphocytes are an integral part of your body’s immune system. They are blood cells that possess the ability to generate antibodies that target disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and other toxins. Lymphocytes can also identify and neutralize those cells in the body that have been taken over by pathogens. In a way, they are like the front-line soldiers responsible for safeguarding your health by battling and defeating threats of all kinds. Lymphoma affects these fearless soldiers and renders them incompetent in the face of enemy invasion. Two main categories of Lymphoma exist today. These are:
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – Affects B lymphocytes and gives causes lymph nodes to swell up
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – Affects both B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes and can originate in any part of the lymphatic system.
Symptoms of Lymphoma
Some of the common symptoms of lymphoma are:
- Swollen lymph nodes that are not bothersome or painful
- Fever without the presence of any infection
- Effortless loss of weight
- Profuse sweating at night
- Chronic fatigue
- Itching all over the body
Risk Factors Of Lymphoma?
The risk factors for each kind of Lymphoma are different and are listed below:
- Previous incidents of Epstein Barr Infection or Mono
- An inherently feeble immune system
- Age groups 15 to 24 and over 55 years
- A history of lymphoma in the family
- Over-exposure to substances containing benzene
- Radiation exposure
- HIV infection
- Chronic HCV infection
- Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy
Treatment Options for Lymphoma:
Due to the heterogeneous, or diverse, nature of lymphomas, it is essential to treat them using combination therapy which involves parallelly administering more than one type of treatment option. Some of these treatment protocols are:
Chemotherapy – A standard line of treatment for most forms of cancer, chemotherapy involves using strong drugs that can prevent the uncontrolled multiplication of cancer cells by induces cell death in them.
Immunotherapy – This form of treatment focuses on saving the immune system from the cancerous assault by either destroying lymphoma cells or by inhibiting these cancerous cells from damaging the immune system.
Oral Therapy – Oral therapy entails orally consuming drugs that can spot and destruct lymphoma cancer cells.
Radiation Therapy – As the name suggests, this method uses intense x-rays to shrivel up the cancer growths in the body. To manage lymphoma better, radiation therapy is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
Stem Cell Transplant – This is an aggressive form of treatment which occurs in combination with chemotherapy and involves infusing new stem cells after each round of chemo.
Over the years, lymphoma has become quite common, claiming 4% of the entire cancer-affected population. It is, therefore, essential to be aware of the basics of this disease and seek medical attention as soon as possible if symptoms start showing up.
For more information on various types of cancers and their treatments, please visit our website – Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers