There are two types of lymphoma, i.e. Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is more common.
The growth of cancer cells in the lymphatic system is known as lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is discussed below.
Symptoms of lymphoma
- The lymph nodes in the armpits, neck or groin may become swollen. It may not cause pain.
- Chills and fever
- Chronic fatigue
- Excessive sweating, particularly at night
- Chest pain, breathing difficulties and/or coughing
- Unexpected loss of nearly ten percent of body weight
- Loss of appetite
- Increased sensitivity to the alcohol effects or painful lymph nodes after consuming alcohol
Causes of lymphoma
- The exact causes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are not known. It is believed that mutations in the DNA of B cells results in the development of lymphoma. These cells are responsible for the production of antibodies to fight off infections. Mutations result in growth and division of abnormal cells. These cells gradually outnumber the healthy cells and result in lymphoma
- There are several risk factors that increase the vulnerability to developing lymphoma. Some of them include an impaired immune system; a family history of lymphoma; people in the age group of over fifty and between the ages of 15 and 35; a previous case of infection with the Epstein-Barr virus and being of the male gender.
Treatment of lymphoma
- Radiation therapy which uses intense and precision rays of radiation to kill the cancer cells
- Chemotherapy which involves the administration of intravenous drugs that are specifically designed to destroy the cancer cells. This may be used in combination with radiation therapy.
- Stem cell transplant wherein the diseased bone marrow is replaced with a health bone marrow. The procedure involves the use of high doses of radiation therapy and chemotherapy to destroy the cancer cells. Once that is done, the affected bone marrow is replaced with the health one.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma survival rate
Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur in any age group, but usually tends to affect young adults and adolescents and more men as compared to women. The condition is quite severe but can be easily treated and has a high rate of survival
In order to better understand the survival rate for lymphoma, doctors have devised the five year survival rate for the condition. It indicates the percentage of patients who have survived for at least a period of five years after initial diagnosis. However, this cannot be generalized as lymphoma patients can die due to other complications and diseases. The relative five year survival rate is a comparison of the five year survival rate of the lymphoma patients against the general population with similar age and other characteristics and which is not affected by the disease.
- The overall five year survival rate has increased from around forty percent in sixties to around 90 percent in the early 2000s.
- As per survey conducted on British patients, the five year survival rate for men and women in the age group 15 to 49, is 87 % and 92 percent respectively; and for those over 70, it is 27 % and 32 % respectively. Women have a higher fiver year survival rate than men.