About Lymphoma Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
Lymphoma is cancer affecting the immune system known as the lymph system. The lymphatic system constitutes the white blood cells which are also referred to as lymphocytes. Therefore, lymphoma occurs when the white blood cells grow and divide uncontrollably. Since these cells are mobile in the body, they can easily travel to other parts such as the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, and other organs and form tumors in these regions.
Lymphoma occurs in many forms classified as Hodgkin lymphoma, and the other types are the non-Hodgkin. Hodgkin lymphoma affects the bone marrow and the blood while non-Hodgkin affects the lymphatic tissue and the lymph nodes. Signs and symptoms
- Soaking night sweats
- Pain and swelling of the belly
- Swollen and painless lymph nodes especially in the armpits, groin, and the neck
- Unplanned weight loss
Just like other types of cancers, lymphoma progresses in stages, and this influences the mode of treatment adopted. In most cases, a combination of the following treatment options is used.Chemotherapy
This procedure involves the administering of powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs either are pills or fluid infused into the bloodstream through intravenous means. Chemotherapy is, therefore, a systemic therapy implying that the drugs circulate through the blood stream affecting all parts of the body.Radiation therapy
This involves the use of high-energy rays to kill and eliminate the cancer cells. It is classified as a local therapy implying that it is used on cancer-affected areas. In most cases, the surrounding regions are also radiated to eliminate any threat of infection. A radiation oncologist performs the process. Biological Therapy
It is also known as immunotherapy and uses the body’s natural immunity against pathogen to fight lymphoma. There are varying types of biological therapies such as monoclonal antibodies and cytokines among others. These treatment options are preferred due to their minimal side effects.
- Cytokines: These are naturally occurring chemicals produced by the body to stimulate cells in your body and mostly the immune system. The chemical can also be produced artificially and administered to stimulate the growth of blood cells in case of lymphoma.
- Vaccines:In cancer patients, these vaccines stimulate the immune system to initiate a specific response against cancer. They serve as memory so that in the case of future recurrence, the immune system activates early. In conclusion, the type or combination of treatment adopted depends on the patients’ health condition, the ability to withstand the side effects, methods previously used and the stage of lymphoma.
Duration of procedure/surgery : The first cycle, which is the actual treatment period lasts several days. It follows another period of rest lasting several weeks to facilitate recovery from the risk factors.
Number of sessions required : Chemotherapy is administered in cycles and a standard treatment constitutes of four or six cycles.
Risks : Since radiation is a local procedure, the side effects will vary depending on the part radiated. Some of the most common risks include: Nausea, Diarrhea, Fatigue, Loss of appetite
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