Everything you must know about non-hodgkin lymphoma
Non-hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that happens in the lymphatic system of the body. When a person is going through this disease tumors get developed from the lymphocytes and can spread throughout the body. This is a very general type of lymphatic cancer and has many different subtypes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells which help to fight the infections in the body. Lymphocytes have a pre-decided lifespan. Old lymphocytes die and new ones are born. However when someone has non hodgkin lymphoma then their lymphocytes multiply abnormally and the old ones do not die. Slowly a large number of cells get gathered in the lymph nodes. Due to this crowding the lymph nodes get swollen. Generally, swollen lymph nodes are a sign of immune system fighting diseases and are not dangerous but when a person has Non-hodgkin lymphoma, it can spread to other organs of the body and prove to be fatal.
What are the symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
When a patient has Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma they experience abdominal pain and swelling in their abdominal area.
- The Non Hodgkin lymphoma is the main cause of anaemia and it further causes fatigue as well. The patient feels dizzy and gets tired by doing small exercises.
- A patient with non hodgkin lymphoma experiences loss of appetite and belly pain.
- A person with non hodgkin lymphoma experiences night sweats and has an abnormal weight loss for no reason.
- A person experiences swollen lymph nodes, fever and symptoms like chest pain often.
- When someone has this type of cancer, they experience difficulty in breathing and discomfort while digesting food.
- In non hodgkin lymphoma a patient also experiences bone pain and itchiness in the chest.
These are the main symptoms that can be noticed when someone has Non hodgkin lymphoma. If any of these symptoms have been persistent then you should visit a doctor and get yourself diagnosed as soon as possible. Here is the Lymphoma Treatment Cost in India
How can Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma be diagnosed?
There are several ways in which Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma can be diagnosed. When a patient first visits the doctor, the doctor usually checks the family history and prescribes various tests that a patient needs to undergo in order to be diagnosed.
- Physical Examination by the physician: During the physical examination the doctor checks the swollen lymph nodes that might be present in your underarms, genitals, neck, liver and spleen.
- Urine and blood testing: After the physical test is done, the doctor may recommend you to get a blood and urine test as well to check whether there is any infection in the body or if the patient has a different disease.
- Imaging Tests: The doctor might suggest tests like X-Ray, CT scan and MRI to check whether there are any tumors in the body. These imaging tests are important to check the site of tumors in the patient’s body.
- Lymph Node test: Lymph node biopsy is a procedure in which a lymph node tissue or part of the lymph node is taken for testing. These tissues are tested in the lab to reveal whether the patient has Non-hodgkin lymphoma or not. If yes then which type of lymphoma is.
- Bone Marrow test: In this type of diagnosis, a needle is inserted through the hip bone to take a sample of the bone marrow. The sample is analysed to check if there are any Non Hodgkin Lymphoma cells in the marrow.
Also read about Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Lymphoma Cost in India
How can Non-Hodgkin lymphoma be treated?
There are several ways in which Non Hodgkin Lymphoma can be treated. The cost of treating Non hodgkin lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma that is being treated. Different types of Lymphomas can be treated in different ways.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a treatment in which drugs are given to the patient orally or injected in the patient through the veins. These drugs target the cancer cells and destroy them. Thus, the clot formation and symptoms related to them are eased. Chemotherapy can be combined with different drugs, given on its own and can also be merged with other treatments as well.
- Radiation therapy: In radiation therapy, the tumors or cancer cell clusters are targeted with strong beams. These beams are converged at the site of the tumors. The radiation is often directed towards the Lymph nodes and the area surrounding them. Radiation therapy is done for a few months to cure the tumors permanently. There can be several after effects of this therapy. It can leave the area red rashes might get formed on the skin which has been exposed to radiations, a patient can experience fatigue during the treatment. There can be hormonal imbalance and thyroid problems as well.
- Bone Marrow Transplant: In the bone marrow transplant procedure, high levels of drugs and radiations are used to suppress the bone marrow. Thus destroying the unhealthy bone marrow and cancer cells. Then healthy bone marrow is introduced to the body. It can be the patient’s own bone marrow sample or someone else’s. This healthy bone marrow helps the patient to recover from the disease.
- Other Drug Therapy: There are several other drug therapies apart from Chemotherapy that can be used to treat this cancer. Like the drug rituximab is used to cure Non Hodgkin Lymphoma which is caused by the B cells. It helps to destroy the cancerous b type cells. When the b type cell number reduces in the body, the immune system manages to create new b type cells which are less likely to be cancerous. Thus treating the disease.