What is lymphoma?

Cancer of the lymphatic system is termed as lymphoma. The lymphatic system is part of the disease-fighting mechanism of the body and consists of the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus and bone marrow.

Lymphoma results in the disease-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes to multiply rapidly, eventually resulting in the swelling of the lymph nodes.

The two primary types of lymphoma are – Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

What are the causes & risk factors of lymphoma?

The exact causes of lymphoma are not yet conclusively determined, however genetic mutations in the white blood cells is known to be the cause of the conditions. Some of the risk factors that precipitate the genetic mutations are:

  1. Increasing age
  2. Pre-existing diseases of the immune system
  3. Pre-existing infections such as Epstein-Barr virus and Helicobacter pylori infection

What are the signs & symptoms of lymphoma?

Signs and symptoms of lymphoma are enumerated as below:

  1. Swelling of lymph nodes in neck, armpits or groin
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Persistent fatigue
  4. Fever
  5. Night sweats
  6. Unintended weight loss

How can we prevent lymphoma?

Currently, there are no definite ways to prevent a lymphoma. However, a healthy lifestyle that prevents obesity and excessive weight gain is advisable to reduce the risk of lymphoma. Also, it is important to stay away from infections and take adequate measures of personal hygiene, sexual hygiene, clinical hygiene etc., to ward off infections.

What are the treatment options for lymphoma?

The treatment for lymphoma depends on the type and stage of the condition. The doctors seek to destroy as many of the diseased cells as possible and bring their multiplication into control. The various treatment options include

  1. Active surveillance
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Targeted drugs
  4. Radiation therapy
  5. Bone marrow transplant

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