Cancer that occurs in the lymphatic system or lymph nodes of the body is called Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is a hematological malignancy that develops in the white blood cells. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is found throughout the body, such as in lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, the thymus, the digestive tract, and the throat.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma accounts for 4% of all cancers. It mostly occurs in late adulthood. The rate of incidence of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is slightly higher in men than in women.
Types of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
The common types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas: It is an aggressive form of lymphoma. It shares almost one-third of all the cases of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and results in larger B-cells than normal.
- Follicular lymphoma: It is the second most common form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It results in the formation of clumps of B-cells inside lymph nodes.
- Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma: It originates in the T-cells and natural killer cells.
- Burkett’s Lymphoma: It is an aggressive form of lymphoma and forms a mass of cells in the abdomen.
Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
The common signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Lymph node swelling in the armpits, neck, and groin
- Constant high fever
- Coughing, chest pain, and troubled breathing
- Excessive swelling, especially at night
- Itchy skin
- Fatigue or tiredness
If the patients experience one or more of the above symptoms, they should consult a physician immediately. At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have the best Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma specialists in Nashik who are experienced at appropriately diagnosing and treating this condition.
Causes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
It is not known what causes lymphoma. However, many factors increase the chances of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, such as:
- Getting older
- Being male
- Exposure to certain harmful chemicals like benzene or herbicides
- A family history of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Having a weak immune system
- Certain Infections like HIV, hepatitis C, and helicobacter pylori
- Exposure to a high dose of radiation like a nuclear reactor accident
- Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and celiac diseases
Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
The common tests performed for the diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:
- Blood tests: A complete blood test is performed to look for a sign of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, such as a low count of RBC and an increase in lactate dehydrogenase.
- Biopsy: The doctor takes a tissue sample from swollen lymph nodes to examine under a microscope to detect Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and its type. The doctor also determines the proteins on the tumor surface. It is a confirmatory test for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is also used to check if it has metastasis to the blood marrow.
- Computerized tomography scan: The CT scan helps doctors measure the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma size and the organs affected.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: It produces a detailed image using a magnetic field and helps detect Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and determine whether it has spread to the spine or brain.
- Immunohistochemistry: This test helps to look at the proteins on the surface or inside the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cell using a special staining process.
- Positron emissions tomography scan: The PET scan provides detailed images of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and helps determine its stage, size, and metastasis to other areas.
- Cytogenetics: Cytogenetic analyzes the DNA or chromosome changes in the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cell, and the information is then used to decide the treatment plan.
Treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have a specialist team that is trained to deliver the best non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment in Nashik. The different methods used for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy works by targeting the rapidly growing and multiplying cells. It can be administered as the main treatment or may be combined with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be administered orally, intravenously, or intrathecally (directly in the cerebrospinal fluid). It is an effective method for the treatment of advanced stage and aggressive forms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Radio-immunotherapy: Monoclonal antibodies are used to transport radioactive material directly to the cells of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This radioactive material is absorbed by the cancerous cells of lymphoma and kills them. It is usually used for recurrent Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Radiation therapy: In most cases of low-grade Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, radiation therapy is sufficient. It is mostly given five days a week. It can also be given for advanced and aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma along with chemotherapy or to control the signs and symptoms due to lymphoma as palliative radiotherapy.
Bone marrow transplant: It is an effective method to treat Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In this method, the cancerous cells in the bone marrow and blood are killed using a high dose of radiation or chemotherapy. Later, the bone marrow is replaced using stem cells. It is used mainly for advanced-stage Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and recurrent lymphoma.
Surgery: Early-stage Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas confined at a place are treated using the surgery. The doctor completely removes the affected lymph nodes during the surgery along with nearby healthy tissues.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy attacks the cancerous cells of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It works more precisely than other treatment methods. It is a new treatment option that works by targeting the abnormalities of lymphoma cells to prevent its metastasis.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Most of the known risk factors of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are difficult to avoid, such as the use of immunosuppressants, as they are life-saving medications. However, you can improve life expectancy by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. You should also avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
What is the survival rate of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
The survival rate of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma, its stage, and its response to therapy. The five-year survival rate of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 71%, and the 10-year survival rate is 60%.
Is Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma hereditary?
Having a first-degree relative like a parent, siblings, or children with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may increase the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
What are the side effects of chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
The common side effects of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma chemotherapy are hair loss, loss of appetite, sore mouth, bleeding, bruising, fatigue, and increased chance of infection.
Is Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma curable?
Yes, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a curable disease. Doctors consider cancer to be cured when there is no recurrence after five years of complete remission.