Lymphomas are types of cancer that begin in your lymph cells that help protect us from infection and disease and form part of your body’s immune system.
The main risk factors for lymphoma cancer are problems with your immune system.
You can rest assured that you will receive the best lymphoma cancer care treatment at Ramsay Health Care UK.
Patient safety is our primary concern. All Ramsay hospitals follow strict protocols to control and prevent infection. Consultant-led care ensures one point of contact, we keep in touch virtually, we operate social distancing in our waiting areas, and have optimised patient flow around the hospitals.
We look forward to welcoming you to our caring and compassionate teams who utilise the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology.
Lymphoma cancer can develop when your infection-fighting white blood cells, called lymphocytes, grow out of control. It starts in your lymph system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body that produce, store, and carry white blood cells. The affected lymphocytes lose their infection-fighting properties and make you more vulnerable to infection.
There are two main types of lymphoma and within these are many subtypes. It is important to know the type of lymphoma to determine the best course of treatment.
The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown. We do know that your risk of developing lymphoma cancer is increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, you take immunosuppressant medication, you've had exposure to the common Epstein-Barr virus that causes glandular fever, or you have a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling who has had the condition.
The signs of Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma include a painless swelling usually in your neck, armpit or groin. Other lymphomas symptoms include fever, night sweats, feeling tired, itching without a rash, and weight loss.
You should see a doctor if you are concerned that you may have lymphoma cancer symptoms. Initially, they will do a physical examination and ask about your symptoms. If your GP suspects lymphoma they will refer you to a hospital specialist for further examination and a biopsy.
A biopsy removes some or all of an affected lymph node and examines it under a microscope. If your biopsy confirms a lymphoma diagnosis further testing is needed to check how far the lymphoma has spread. Further tests may include blood tests, chest X-ray, bone marrow sample, CT scan, MRI scan, PET scan, and lumbar puncture.
Following diagnostic testing, your doctor should be able to stage of your lymphoma. "Staging" means scoring your cancer by how far it has spread.
Stages 1 and 2 are also called early-stage or limited lymphoma. Stages 3 and 4 are also referred to as advanced lymphoma. As lymphoma cancer is present in the lymph system, it can quickly metastasize, or spread, to different tissues and organs throughout your body.
The letters "A" or "B" may be added to your stage to indicate whether or not you have certain symptoms. "A" indicates you have no additional symptoms other than swollen lymph nodes and "B" indicates you have additional symptoms of weight loss, fever or night sweats.
Sometimes, health professionals also use additional letters to indicate where cancer first developed, for example, "E" (extranodal) means cancer developed outside the lymphatic system.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma grading
There are also two main grades of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:
Sometimes, over time low-grade lymphomas can develop into high-grade lymphomas.
The many types of lymphoma are treated in different ways based on your lymphoma type, severity, and your general health.
The main treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy alone, or chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. Occasionally, chemotherapy may be combined with steroid medication.
For patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment is normally chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If your disease is low grade and you're well you might adopt and a wait and see approach.
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