Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) is a cancer that originates from the lymphoid system which may include the spleen, lymph nodes and other organs in the immune system. Tumors in NHL originates from either T-cells or B-cell. Examples of NHL include, but are not limited to:

  • Burkitt Lymphoma
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms

Common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes (neck, groin and armpits), abdominal pain and swelling, difficulty breathing, fatigue, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.  The Lymph node biopsy remains to be the corner stone in the diagnosis of Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

NHL Treatment Options

Some forms of NHL are slow growing (indolent) tumors which may not require immediate intervention. In such case, careful monitoring with the physician is required over frequent visits. However, when NHL becomes aggressive and presents with distressing symptoms, oncologists may recommend one of the following treatment options.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is basically a drug treatment given orally or intravenously to directly kill cancer cells.

Radiation – This uses high powered energy beams like X-ray to kill or shrink tumor cells.

Stem Cell Transplant – This procedure will initially involve a high dose of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to eradicate the tumor cells. A new and healthy stem cell from your own or donor is then injected to the body to help form new and healthy blood cells.

Medications that boost immune system– Drugs like Rituximab , a type of monoclonal antibody that attaches to B cells and make them more visible to the immune system to attack.

Radio Immunotherapy – Radio Immunotherapy drugs like Ibritumomab and Tositumomab are also monoclonal antibodies used to bring directly radio isotopes to the cancer cells.

OUTCOME

Studies have shown that at least 51% of patients diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may survive in the next 10 years or more. Prognosis of NHL depends on the type and stage of the cancer from the time it was diagnosed and treated. The identification of NHL, whether it’s low-grade (indolent) or aggressive, is also very important factor for its prognosis.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.