What Is Lymphoma? Understanding the Types, Causes & Treatments

Lymphoma Understanding

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a form of cancer that originates in the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. It can be either Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, depending on the type of cells affected. Lymphoma affects how lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, behaves and multiplies, resulting in tumors in the lymph nodes and other organs.

What are the Types and Causes of Lymphoma?

There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by the presence of a particular type of abnormal-looking cells called Reed-Sternberg cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma does not typically contain these cells and is further categorized into subtypes based on the type of abnormal lymphocytes present.

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Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma usually affects young adults and older adults. It is sometimes referred to as “Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma” or CHL. It is associated with varying levels of risk factors, such as age, gender, gene mutations, a weakened immune system or exposure to radiation or certain viruses.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the most common type of lymphoma. It occurs in people of all ages, with the average age of diagnosis being 64. It is more common in men than women.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be caused by inherited factors, environmental factors, certain infections or a weakened immune system. The most common environmental cause is exposure to certain chemicals like insecticides, herbicides, and solvents.

Treatments for Lymphoma

Treatment for lymphoma depends on the type and stage of the disease, as well as your overall health and age. Treatment options may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and/or surgery.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy can be used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, depending on its location. This treatment uses high energy beams to kill or shrink tumors.

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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with radiation therapy to treat Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplant may be recommended for Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients whose disease is aggressive or in advanced stages. The procedure involves replacing your damaged bone marrow with healthy stem cells to rebuild your immune system.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy, also known as biologic therapy, is a cancer treatment that helps your body’s immune system fight cancer by boosting its ability to detect and attack cancer cells. It may be used to treat relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets specific parts of cancer cells in order to stop cancer cells from growing and spreading. It may be used to treat a number of lymphoma types, including aggressive and recurrent lymphoma.

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Surgery

Surgery may be recommended to treat certain types of lymphoma. This is usually done to remove tumors or lymph nodes or to insert catheters or feeding tubes.

Health After Treatment

After treatment for lymphoma has ended, it is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions for care and lifestyle changes. This can help lower the risk of the cancer returning and reduce the risk of developing another cancer. Eating a nutritious diet, getting regular physical activity, and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol can all help you stay healthy.

It is also important to schedule regular follow-up visits with your doctor so that they can monitor your health and check for any signs of recurrence.

Keywords:Lymphoma, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma, CHL, Reed-Sternberg Cells, Risk Factors, Treatment Options, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Stem Cell Transplant, Immunotherapy, Targeted Therapy, Surgery, Follow-up Visits.

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