The diagnosis of Gastrointestinal (GI) Lymphoma often comes as a shock to patients and their families because it is not as commonly known. GI Lymphoma is a rare cancer and can form in the empty spaces within the GI tract, including the oesophagus, liver, and small bowel.
Symptoms of GI Lymphoma
The specific symptoms a patient experiences will depend on the location and stage of their cancer, but early signs can include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes
Diagnosing and Treating GI Lymphoma
If your doctor suspects GI Lymphoma they will order various tests and scans to confirm the diagnosis. Common tests include blood tests, an endoscopy, imaging tests and tissue biopsy. Once the exact type of GI Lymphoma is known, treatment decisions can be made. Common treatments for GI Lymphoma can include:
Living with GI Lymphoma
Hearing the diagnosis of any cancer can be overwhelming and bring about many questions. While GI Lymphoma is a rare cancer, there is hope for living a full and active life. Taking a holistic approach to health and finding the support you need can help you in your journey.
Tips for Living with GI Lymphoma
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
- Stay as active as possible
- Talk to your doctor or healthcare team about your treatment options
- Find a support system – talk to people who understand what you’re going through
- Take time for yourself and relax
- Explore new activities, hobbies, and interests
Gastrointestinal Lymphoma can be overwhelming and life-changing, but it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. Find a doctor and healthcare team that you trust and are comfortable with, and explore your treatment options. By doing so, you’ll be able to live a more fulfilling life, despite your diagnosis.