Our body’s lymphatic system is a series of vessels that run throughout our body, helping fight off infection and disease to keep us healthy. The lymph nodes are an essential part of the lymphatic system, but they are also susceptible to a type of cancer called lymphoma. If patients seek professional treatment for lymphoma, symptoms can be reduced, and in some cases can be cured. Learn more about the treatments available for lymphoma, the possible side effects from treatment, and more by clicking the links below.
- Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s
- Signs and Symptoms
- Staging of Lymphoma
- Treatment Options For Lymphoma
- Radiation Therapy
- Biologic Therapy
- Lymphoma – Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Resources
then, thive treatment will go on to live 10 or more years.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma refers to a grouping of 30 different types of lymphoma, all of which vary in their characteristics and do not classify as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Since this is a category of many types of lymphoma, it is much more common. All variations of NHL are treatable and possibly curable with the proper cancer treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
Both Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma start in the lymph nodes, and the most common identifier of developing lymphoma is an enlarged lymph node. The lymph nodes are located in the head, neck, armpit, abdomen, and groin, with the cancer manifesting as a hard bump under the skin. Other possible symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Itchy skin
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Cough & chest pain
- Trouble breathing
It is possible for those with lymphoma to experience these or other symptoms that are not listed here, since symptoms vary from patient to patient. The kinds of symptoms that develop depend on the type of lymphoma, as well as the stage and location.
Staging of Lymphoma
The extent and severity of the lymphoma is identified using four stages.
- Stage I - A Single lymph node or non-lymph node region is affected.
- Stage II: Two or more lymph nodes or non-lymph node regions are affected on the same side of the diaphragm (the muscle under the lungs).
- Stage III: Lymph node or non-lymph node regions above and below the diaphragm are affected.
- Stage IV: The cancer has spread outside the lymph nodes to organs such as the liver, bones or lungs. Stage IV can also refer to a tumor in another organ and/or tumors in distant lymph nodes.
Your physician will conduct a biopsy and take a tissue sample for examination in order to determine the stage of the lymphoma. Once the stage has been identified, your physician will work with you to start building a personalized treatment plan.
Treatment Options for Lymphoma
The typical treatments used to treat lymphoma include radiation therapy, biologic therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three. The type of treatment that that is best for a patient varies, depending on factors such as the type of lymphoma, the stage, and the patient’s overall health. For those seeking treatment for lymphoma, it is recommended to consult both a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist.
RADIATION THERAPY FOR LYMPHOMA
Provided by a radiation oncologist, radiation therapy focuses on killing cancer cells through the use of a targeted beam of radiation, a process commonly referred to as external beam radiation therapy. When the cancer cells are exposed to radiation, they become damaged, losing the ability to multiply and spread. The cancer cells eventually die off, since they do not have the ability to repair themselves from the radiation damage like healthy cells do.
Biologic Therapy Lymphoma Treatment
Often referred to as immunotherapy, this type of treatment does not kill cancer cells directly, but instead uses medication to enhance the body’s immune system, and help it fight back against the cancer cells.
Contact Your Juneau, AK Cancer Center!
For more information about lymphoma, the signs and symptoms, and available treatments, contact us at Southeastern Radiation Oncology Center. We offer professional radiation therapy for those battling against lymphoma and other cancers. Call us at (907) 586-5762 for more information.
Lymphoma – Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Resources
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Lymphoma Information Network
Also see Helpful Links
*Content provided by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, www.rtanswers.org, and the American Cancer Society.