Lymphoma symptoms | treatment | cancer of the lymph nodes | Hodgkin’s lymphoma


Lymphoma symptoms | treatment | cancer of the lymph nodes

Lymphoma is a malignant disease of blood cells - lymphocytes that start uncontrollably to proliferate, or to disturb the process of dying elderly cells, which leads to their accumulation in the lymph nodes, which consequently increase in size.

LYMPHOMA - cancer of the lymph nodes

Given the fact that the lymphocytes circulate throughout the body, lymphoma symptoms can occur in one or in a group of lymph nodes on an organ - the liver, bone marrow, spleen. This malignant tumor is the fifth on the list of the most common malignancy and it is estimated that at present more than one million people in the world die from it. The world day against lymphoma was marked 12 September, in order to better inform citizens about this serious disease, whose symptoms are often not recognized and attributed to other disorders and conditions, which hinders its timely diagnosis. Last year's survey showed that 75% of people in the world do not know that cancer of the lymph nodes even exist, although in the world every day discovered are three new cases of lymphoma. It is estimated that the number of people suffering with it is two to three times higher than the data on diagnosed cases.

LYMPHOMA; causes

The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown, but it was found to be more common in men, people with a weakened immune system and those with organ transplants take imunodepressives, patients positive for Epstein-Barr virus, HIV and some types of viruses and elderly people. HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type I), Epstein Barr virus increases the risk of NHL (Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma). People working with or are otherwise exposed to chemicals, such as pesticides or fertilizers, have a higher risk of developing cancer of the lymph nodes.

LYMPHOMA SYMPTOMS

Basic lymphoma symptoms are enlarged lymph nodes (usually in the neck, groin or armpit area), weight loss, increased body temperatures, unexplained fatigue, excessive sweating (especially night sweats), cough, redness and itching of skin. Cancer of the lymph nodes symptoms are often non-specific, and if problems persist it is necessary to contact a physician since the early diagnosis is of great importance for the success of treatment. These lymphoma symptoms are not sure signs of NHL because they can also be caused by other, less dangerous diseases, such as influenza or other infections. If the lymphoma symptoms occur outside the lymph nodes, for example stomach (gastric lymphoma), abdominal pain and diarrhea may occur.
LYMPHOMA; Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

According to histological criteria (type of malignant tissue) lymphomas are divided into two main types: Hodgkin's lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (accounting for 80% of all lymphomas, but the term lymphoma mainly includes Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of specific cells (Reed-Sternberg cells), which leads to abnormal, painless enlargement of the lymph tissue (in 90% of patients the lymph nodes are on the neck).

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL); symptoms 

NHL symptoms (so far total of 43 subspecies has been revealed) are very similar to symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma. The main feature is the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, while some subspecies of NHL are gradually converted into a huge tumor mass that destroys surrounding tissues.

LYMPHOMA; blood count and diagnosis

Since lymphoma symptoms are often non-specific and can be attributed to another disease, the first step in diagnosis is a blood test. Lymphoma indicate disorder in the blood count (normocytic anemia as a result of disturbances in the differentiation of red blood cells in the bone marrow, and their specialization to perform specific functions) or abnormalities in leukocyte formula (lymphocytopenia - reduced number of leukocytes and lymphocytes). With computer tomography we can determine the size of the lymph gland, as well as the state of organs in the abdomen, while nuclear magnetic resonance gives more details on potentially diseased cells. However, this powerful diagnostic tools cannot determine what type of malignancy it really is. The diagnosis is made only on the basis of a biopsy, by removing malignant lymph nodes, and sometimes bone marrow is used as well as the analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture.

Cancer of the lymph nodes prognosis and the stages of the disease

Progression of lymphoma in principle can be divided into several stages.

First stage of lymphoma:
  • The disease is limited to only one region with enlarged lymph nodes.

Stage two:
  • Malignant tumor affects more regions with the lymph nodes, but only one side of the diaphragm {such as cancer of the lymph nodes in the neck, under the armpits, but not the one in the abdomen and groins).

Third stage
  • Cancer of the lymph nodes has spread to lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm.

Stage four; clinical stage
  • Lymphatic mass begins to fill the tissue which is not usually characterized by the presence of lymphoid cells (bone marrow, stomach, small intestine, brain, testicles).

LYMPHOMA TREATMENT

Depending on the clinical stage and type of disease (histological analysis), or whether it comes to Hodgkin's lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, course of the disease may be different. Lymphoma is curable in 50 to 80% of cases. Most commonly applied is radiation therapy, cytostatic or combination of these methods. It is customary for stages I and II to be treated with radiotherapy, stage III and IV with chemotherapy, but depending on the severity of the case, the combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be used. The most important prognostic factors are the clinical stage of disease, gender, age, size of tumor mass. Statistics show that significantly better prognosis can be expected with patients in early clinical stages of the disease, females, patients younger than 30 years, and those who do not have a large tumor mass. However, there may be a secondary illness. Given that in patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma there is a disturbance is cellular immunity, they often suffer from tuberculosis and various infections. In the case of follicular lymphoma (slow growing lymphoma which originates from malignant B - cells), which occurs in almost 30 percent of patients in Europe it has proven effective to delay the treatment. Since with this form of the disease you may live for years, therapy is not applied in those older than 60 years and in advanced stages of the disease.

In this article we explained what is lymphoma and what are the main symptoms of lymphoma, mainly from the viewpoint of modern medicine. We recommend you to follow up your knowledge with the following texts in which we wrote about an alternative treatment of cancer: diet against cancer, graviola plant medicine from the Amazonian forest, golden poppy and the most medicinal plants in the world, how to recognize breast cancer, curry spice cures cancer and other.


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