What Are The Basics of Lymphoma?

How to define lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are germ-fighting cells in immune system. You can find these cells in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus and bone marrow.

When you have lymphoma, lymphocytes will change and grow out of control.

Lymphoma is treatable depending on the types and stages of lymphoma.


What are the types of lymphoma?

The main types of lymphoma are as follow:

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia

What are the risk factors or causes of lymphoma?

The exact causes of lymphoma are not known, but there are several factors related to the increased risk of developing lymphoma, they are:

  • Age: People might be more at risk if they are in their 60s or older for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and if they are between 15 and 40 or older than 55 for Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Infection: Infections like HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C virus are related with the increased risk of developing lymphoma.
  • Medical conditions: HIV, Autoimmune disease, immune suppressive therapy and inherited immunodeficiency diseases may comprise the immune system.
  • Being exposed to toxic chemicals:Pesticides, herbicides, or benzene from farm work, and hair dye.
  • Genetics: People with a family history of lymphoma are more likely to develop lymphoma.

What are the symptoms of lymphoma?

Warning signs or symptoms of lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Itching

If symptoms above occur, please check with your doctor as soon as possible.


How to diagnose lymphoma?

Tests used to diagnose lymphoma are:

  • Physical exam: Check for swollen lymph nodes in your neck, underarm and groin, and check for swollen spleen or liver.
  • Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy: Use a needle to remove fluid or tissue from bone marrow to look for lymphoma cells.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Make pictures of organs and structures inside body through powerful magnets and radio waves.
  • Molecular test: Examine the changes of genes, proteins, and other substances in cancer cells, thus figuring out which type of lymphoma you have.
  • Blood tests: Check the number of certain cells, infections and other substances levels.
  • Chest X-ray: Make images of the inside of your chest through low doses of radiation.
  • PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography Scan): It uses a radioactive substance to look for cancer cells in your body.

What are the treatments for lymphoma?

Depending on different types and stages of lymphoma, patients’ overall health and preferences, major treatments of lymphoma include:

  • Active surveillance: In order to treat disease in time, patients may undergo periodic tests to monitor their condition.
  • Chemotherapy: Use drugs to destroy cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: Use high-powered X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells.
  • Stem cell transplant: Infuse healthy bone marrow stem cells to rebuild bone marrow.
  • Other drugs therapy: Use targeted drugs to treat specific abnormalities in cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: Uses body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.


What are the prognostic factors of lymphoma?

For HL (Hodgkin Lymphoma) patients, the International Prognostic Index concludes the following seven risk factors:

  • Male sex
  • Age 45 years or older
  • Stage IV disease
  • Albumin (blood test) less than 4.0 g/dL
  • Hemoglobin (red blood cell level) less than 10.5 g/dL
  • Elevated white blood cell (WBC) count of 15000/mL
  • Low lymphocyte count less than 600/mL or less than 8% of total WBC

For NHL (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma) patients, The International Prognostic Index concludes the following five risk factors:

  • Age older than 60 years
  • Stage III or IV disease
  • High LDH (actate dehydrogenase)
  • More than one extranodal site
  • Poor performance status

What are the survival rates for lymphoma?

Depending on different stages and the number of risk factors, the survival rates for lymphoma can include:

  • The five-year overall survival rate for patients with low risk factors is approximately 73%.
  • The five-year overall survival rate for patients with low-intermediate risk factors is approximately 50%.
  • The five-year overall survival rate for patients with high-intermediate risk factors is approximately 43%.
  • The five-year overall survival rate for patients with high risk factors is approximately 26%.

Keywords: are causes lymphoma; causes lymphoma; lymphoma caused; are types lymphoma; types lymphoma; early lymphoma signs; early signs lymphoma; early signs lymphoma cancer; lymphoma; lymphoma+; lymphoma prognosis; lymphoma survival rate; lymphoma survival rates; lymphoma cancer symptoms; lymphoma symptoms; symptoms lymphoma; lymphoma treatable; lymphoma treatment; lymphoma treatment guidelines; signs lymphoma; signs symptoms lymphoma; treatments lymphoma; warning signs lymphoma; lymphoma diagnosis treatment; lymphoma cancer; lymphoma cancer information; lymphoma cancer treatment options

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.