LYMPHOMA - Dealing With the Symptoms and the Treatments

How To Treat Lymphoma

Experts say that aside from being unfamiliar with signs and symptoms of lymphoma, this condition can be hard to notice because the usual signs can be quite common.

Some may even be mistaken for common ailments such as fever and even colds.

But if you are one of those at risk — someone who has cancer history in their family or with a weak immune system prone to infections — it would be best to have an early appointment with your doctor.

The most common signs of lymphoma include:
  • enlarged lymph nodes, observable as lumps in the neck, groin or armpits
  • non-stop fever
  • loss of appetite
  • drastic weight loss
  • night sweats
  • itchiness on all parts of the body
  • exhaustion or the constant feeling of being weak
  • breathlessness, typically accompanied by swollen face/neck
It is advisable that anyone who experiences at least three of the mentioned symptoms should go promptly to the doctor for a check-up.

Once the doctor suspects that you may be suffering from lymphoma, they will prescribe diagnostic procedures, including biopsy, to confirm the suspicions and to also to determine how much damage the cancer cells may have done already to any body organs involved.

Once final diagnosis has been made, a series of tests will soon follow in order to get more detailed accounts of the disease. These reports are crucial in determining what kind and degree of treatments which should be undertaken.

Treatment options

For those who are diagnosed with lymphoma, it is a must to undergo treatment ASAP in order to open up to greater chances of recovery. However, since there are almost 35 different types of lymphoma, the treatment options may also vary case by case.

When it comes to treatment, experts say that it would be possible to use the same treatment for at least three or more types depending on their nature and the way the patient's body reacts to it. To get better understanding in lymphoma treatment, here is an overview of the four major treatment options available:
  1. Chemotherapy

    Here, drugs are administered including infusions in the patient's veins or in the form of pills. The most common chemotherapy schedules are ABVD, R-CHOP and CHOP.

  2. Radiotherapy

    This is a treatment options wherein high energy rays are used and directed exactly towards the tumor. Experts say that this can be delivered over small areas which involves field radiation or in large areas which involves extended field radiation.

  3. Antibody therapy

    Also known as "biological therapy", this type of treatment make use of drugs such as "rituximab" which is specially designed to target special molecules that are present on the cancer cells' surface.

  4. Bone marrow or stem cell transplant

    This is probably the most painful, and most expensive, lymphoma treatment available. High doses of radiation or chemotherapy are used in order to eliminate all cancer cells by killing them.

    The benefit of this approach is that while it aggressively targets cancerous cells, it also restores the bone marrow through stem cells or marrow transplant.

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