Recently, my mom was diagnosed Lymphoma. A type of cancer that originates in lymphocytes of the immune system. They often originate in lymph nodes, presenting as an enlargement of the node (a tumour).
Lymphomas are closely related to lymphoid leukemias, which also originate in lymphocytes but typically involve only circulating blood and the bone marrow (where blood cells are generated) and do not usually form tumours. There are many types of lymphomas, and in turn, lymphomas are a part of the broad group of diseases called hematological neoplasms.
In most cases, patients consult their doctors if they have painless swelling in the neck, armpits, groin or abdomen. Sometimes the swelling or the tumor occur in other organs, such as the skin or stomach. Symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight, nausea, vomiting, indigestion or pain in the abdomen
- A feeling of bloating
- Itching, bone pain, headaches, constant coughing and abnormal pressure and congestion in the face, neck and upper chest
- Fatigue and flu-like body aches
- Fatigue resulting from anemia
- Night sweats, recurring high-grade fever or constant low-grade fever
The cause of lymphoma is still not known, but it is not considered hereditary. Most lymphomas occur between the ages of 40 and 70 years. Possible triggers for lymphoma include:
- Genetic factors
- Certain infections or environmental factors
- Exposure to herbicides and high doses of radiation (including aggressive radiation therapy)
- Certain viruses
- AIDS. These patients require specialized treatment.
- Abnormalities chromosomes and the body's immune response
- Intensive therapy right after diagnosis - whether a patient has symptoms or not - to achieve and maintain complete remission. Treatment usually consists of high-dose radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of both. Intensive treatment involves risk, but recent studies suggest that such treatment may induce high rates of remission.
- Bone marrow transplant is currently being studied as a treatment option for low-grade lymphoma.