Lymphoma is a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system which is responsible for regulating the body’s immune system. The lymphatic system rids the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials that could be harmful. Lymphoma is classified into two categories, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In most cases, patients will visit a doctor to address a lump that hasn’t gone away. Other times the patient may simply not feel well. They could have extreme fatigue, unexpected weight loss, fever, or shortness of breath.
The specialists at CareMount Medical will perform a medical history check and physical exam. They will closely examine the lymph nodes and other areas of the body that are a part of the lymphatic system.
A blood test may be used, not to detect lymphoma, but to determine if the cause of the swelling or symptoms is due to an infection. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to see if the symptoms go away after a few weeks. If the swelling still remains, the only way to test for lymphoma is a biopsy of the affected area.
Depending on the circumstances, a doctor will either remove a piece of the node, or the entire mass. The tissue will be examined under a microscope and other lab tests will be performed to determine if the patient has lymphoma.
|Type of Lymphoma||Description|
|Hodgkin lymphoma||The disease starts when the DNA of white blood cells become damaged and can result in uncontrolled reproduction if left untreated. These cells begin to grow and form masses in areas of the lymphatic system.|
|Non-Hodgkin lymphoma||This disease affects B cells, T cells, and NK cells. Most non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects B cells which help fight infections. The disease causes the cells to grow out of control and crowd out normal white blood cells. This drastically weakens the body’s immune system. This type is the more common of the two types.|
*Data is taken from the CDC’s most recently available information (2014)
Treatment for lymphoma will depend on the type of cancer, the stage, and your overall health. However, the most common types of treatment include:
To schedule an appointment or obtain a second opinion on your diagnosis, please call the CareMount Medical Cancer Center Referral Line at 1-844-484-3292.