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Lymphoma is a malignancy that originates from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in boosting the body’s immune system. The cancer is highly aggressive and progresses at a very fast pace. It can metastasize throughout the patient’s body and spread to the liver, bone marrow and lungs. Though the condition can affect people of any age group, the risks are considerably higher for children lying in the age group of 15 to 24. Lymphoma is broadly classified into two types – Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – It is the most common type of lymphoma, accounting for nearly 95 per cent of the cases. It involves the B and T lymphocytes present in the lymph nodes and tissues
Hodgkin’s lymphoma – Identified by the presence of abnormal B lymphocytes, also referred to as Reed-Sternberg cells, Hodgkin’s lymphoma involves all the lymph nodes.
The symptoms of lymphoma resemble those of a viral infection and some people might not experience any symptom at all. Some of the common symptoms that you need to look out for include:
Patients suffering from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma may also experience symptoms like
Lymphoma is a result of undesired changes in the DNA of the lymphocytes, which may be triggered by a variety of reasons. These cells gradually replace all healthy cells.
Chemotherapy – It involves the intravenous or oral administration of certain drugs that target and kill the cancerous cells. A high dose of chemotherapy is given before a bone marrow transplant, to pave way for the growth of new, healthy cells.
Radiation therapy – It involves the use of high-energy radiations to target and destroy cancerous cells. In some cases, the doctors may use protons instead of radiation beams.
Bone marrow transplant – Also known as a stem cell transplant, the procedure aims at replacing diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells.