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Lymphoma – cancer of white blood cells. What are its causes, symptom, risk factors and treatment?

Lymphocytes are the cells of the immune system. Lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes i.e white blood cells. This type of cancer develops in lymphatic system. There are two types of lymphoma:
– Hodgkin disease : It occurs due to the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells in lymph nodes. The structure of the abnormal lymph node and types of cells will decide the division of hodgkin disease.
– Non-Hodgkin disease : The risk increase with age and people who have weak immune system. It occurs when T or B type cells grow abnormally.

CAUSES OF LYMPHOMA

Exact cause is not known but the risk factors include:
– Infections like HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus.
– It depends on age.
– Weak immune system.
– When body is exposed to harmful chemicals.
– Family history of lymphoma.
– Exposure to carcinogens.

SYMPTOMS OF LYMPHOMA

– Swelling in neck, under an arm.
– Swelling is painless.
– Swelling of lymph nodes or tissues.
– Fever and chills.
– Weight loss
– Sweating in night.
– Tiredness and weakness.
– Abdominal discomfort.

To diagnose lymphoma:
– a complete physical examination and family history is noted.
– blood tests are done.
– imaging techniques are used to detect the presence of cancer and how much it has spread.
– examinations of bone marrow are done.
– biopsy can be done.
– CT Scan and MRI

After diagnosis is over, staging of lymphoma is done so that how much the cancer has spread is noticeable.

– In stage 1, lymphoma has affected single lymph node.
– In stage 2, lymphoma has affected one or more lymph nodes.
– In stage 3, lymphoma has affected when two or more lymph nodes or a lymph node and an organ on the opposite side of the body.
– In stage 4, lymphoma has affected spleen, bone marrow or nervous system.

Treatment of lymphoma depends on how much it has spread and affected i.e. the staging of the disease. The goal of medical therapy in lymphoma is complete remission.

– Chemotherapy
– Radiation therapy

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