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Lymphoma treatments

Lymphoma Treatments

 Lymphocytes are white blood cells with a paramount role in the working of our immune system. Ideally, lymphocytes are programmed to recognize and destroy foreign threats and abnormal body cells, however, when for some reason they begin to mutate and multiply in an uncontrolled fashion, they lose this basic capacity to protect the organism.

Lymphoma is the cancer of the lymphocytes and it is registered among the most common blood cancer types. The sooner lymphoma treatments are administered, the more chances the patients have for survival: the abnormally proliferating cells first get collected in one of the lymph nodes or lymph organs and then they may grow to become a tumor. If cancerous lymphocytes have enough time to spread to other lymph nodes or organs, chances of survival lessen considerably.

Lymphoma treatments vary with the type of lymphoma, falling into two major categories:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma treatments (further divided into 5 sub-types)
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatments (further divided into 30 sub-types)

Lymphoma Treatments- Symptoms

  • Swelling in the spleen, groin, neck or underarmlymphoma-treatments_Small
  • The swelling becomes generalized in the arms, neck or the abdomen
  • Fever, weight loss, fatigue

Lymphoma Treatments – Diagnosis and Classification

The most common diagnostic methods to identify, classify and stage lymphomas are:

  • Blood test (high levels of lactase hydrogenase indicate lymphoma)
  • CT
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Biopsy taken from the tumor and microscopic tissue analysis, which allows classification of the lymphoma.

Classification is usually done by identifying whether action should be taken towards Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatments or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatments (they are divided into low-grade, intermediate and high-grade lymphoma treatments).

Traditional Lymphoma Treatments

Choosing the right treatment mostly depends on the:

  • stage
  • type
  • location of the lymphoma
  • overall health condition of the patient

Chemotherapy – It is basically a drug therapy given intravenously or less frequently orally to the patient to destroy cancerous cells by damaging their DNA or protein necessary for their reproduction. This method is mostly used for metastasized states, when targeted therapies cannot bring sufficient results.

Radiotherapy – It makes use of high-energy gamma radiation beams targeted at the cancer itself to destroy or shrink it. Recently, radiation therapy has been successfully combined with a substance called R848, which is reported to increase the effects of radiation substantially.

Surgical removal of the affected areas


New Lymphoma Treatments

In the past 10 years there has been a surge of new lymphoma treatments, especially when it comes to non-Hodgin’s lymphomas,  as scientist have gained newer insight into the nature of this illness. What new options in non-Hodgin’s lymphoma treatments can we count on?

  • Antibody therapy as a complement treatment of chemotherapy – antibodies are able to attach themselves to tumor cells, which are then destroyed by the patients’ own immune system.
  • Radio-immunotherapy – It uses similar antibodies but powered by a radioactive substance, that makes the treatment more destructive for cancer cells.