Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the immune system cells called lymphocytes. Like other cancers, lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes are in a state of uncontrolled cell growth and multiplication. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that move throughout the body in a fluid called lymph. They are transported by a network of vessels that make up the lymphatic system which is a part of the immune system.
Cancer cells in lymphoma mainly gather in lymph nodes — small structures present along blood vessels. As the cancer cells grow and multiply, the lymph nodes enlarge and form lumps. Most of the time, this cancer is detected as painless lumps in the neck, armpits or groin. Several other warning signs and symptoms of lymphoma include fever, weight lossand sweating at night.
Hodgkin lymphoma, also called Hodgkin’s disease, is one category of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Lymphoma begins when cells in the lymph system change and grow uncontrollably, which may form a tumor. The lymph system is made up of thin tubes that branch out to all parts of the body. Its job is to fight infection and disease. The lymph system carries lymph, a colorless fluid containing lymphocytes (white blood cells). Lymphocytes fight germs in the body
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a term that refers to many, very different types of cancer of the lymph system that do not come under the category of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the most commonly used lymphoma treatments, although bone marrow transplantation, biological therapies, or surgery are sometimes used in the treatment process.
Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Lymphoma chemotherapy usually consists of a combination of several drugs. Patients may receive chemotherapy alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
Radiation Therapy : (Also called radiotherapy) This is the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Lymphoma treatment with radiation may be given alone or with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is local treatment; it affects cancer cells only in the treated area. Radiation therapy for lymphoma comes from a machine that aims the high-energy rays at a specific area of the body. There is no radioactivity in the body when the treatment is over.
May also be an option for treating lymphoma, especially for patients whose lymphoma has recurred (come back). BMT provides the patient with healthy stem cells (very immature cells that produce blood cells) to replace cells damaged or destroyed by treatment with very high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Biological Therapy : (also called immunotherapy) This is a form of lymphoma treatment that uses the body’s immune system, either directly or indirectly, to fight cancer or to lessen the side effects that can be caused by some cancer treatments.
Surgery : Surgical resection may be performed to remove a tumor. Tissue around the tumor and nearby lymph nodes may also be removed during the operation.
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