Lymphoma: Symptoms and Treatment
Lymphoma is not one specific disease. This is a whole group of hematological ailments that seriously affect the lymphatic tissue. Since this type of tissue is located almost in the entire human body, the malignant pathology can be formed in any area. Possible damage to even internal organs.
Lymphoma belongs to the group of oncological diseases, it develops by stages. With such a disease, a serious complication is possible — leukemia, bone marrow damage. The first symptom of the disease is an increase in the lymph nodes in the neck and groin. The disease affects, most often, children and elderly people. Representatives of the Negroid race to the disease are practically unresponsive.
Etiology of the disease
It is impossible to say exactly what causes this disease. In addition, each subtype has its own etiology, they are similar only in symptomatology. However, we can distinguish such provoking factors:
- mutagenic substances in the workplace
- hepatitis C virus
- T-cell leukemia virus
- human immunodeficiency virus.
A person who has been working on production with heavy chemicals for a long time is subject to this group of diseases. Also at risk are people who work with pesticides in agriculture, and those who consume food processed with chemicals.
It is worth noting the following reasons, which can trigger the development of pathology:
- taking medications that depress the immune system
- diseases that are inherited
- autoimmune diseases.
Types of lymphomas
Today in official medicine these types of lymphomas are distinguished:
- B-cell lymphoma
- T-cell lymphoma
- diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
- Follicular lymphoma.
It should be noted that until the end of all types of lymphomas have not been studied, so in general they are classified into two types:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The first type has 5, known to medicine, subspecies. The second group includes more than 30 subspecies. They can be distinguished only by special laboratory and instrumental research.
Diffuse B-large-cell form of the disease
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma belongs to the group of oncological diseases. The risk group includes people 20 and 50 years of age. A malignant tumor can affect almost any internal organ.
T-cell lymphoma most often affects people of advanced age, very rarely diagnosed in adolescents. In some sources, this ailment is indicated as lymphoma of the skin, since pathology affects the skin of a person. As a rule, the disease affects men, in women, lymphoma of the skin is very rarely diagnosed. At the initial stage of the disease, T-cell lymphoma manifests itself in the form of itching and reddening of the skin around the lymph nodes.
B-cell lymphoma is characterized as the most aggressive. Cancer cells develop very quickly. However, with timely treatment, you can extend the life of a person for 5-10 years. The causes of the formation of B-cell lymphoma are still unknown. Successful treatment is possible only at the first stage of the development of the disease.
This subtype of cancer refers to the most rare subspecies. Follicular lymphoma is well treated, even in the advanced stage. The most susceptible to this type of disease is a man after 60 years with a weak immune system. Pathology develops slowly, so diagnosing it is much easier.
Treatment of follicular lymphoma depends on the degree of development of the disease. More this — at an early stage the ailment is not treated at all. This is necessary for the disease to move to a new stage, and the therapeutic course was more effective.
Most often, follicular lymphoma is treated by radiotherapy — to stop the growth of a malignant tumor. It should be noted that follicular lymphoma is the most «benevolent» form of this group of diseases. A positive forecast is given in almost 90% of cases. Provided that the treatment will be started on time, and brought to the end.
Symptoms of lymphoma are almost the same for all subtypes. The general list can be supplemented only in view of pathological changes in the affected organ. Common symptoms of lymphoma are:
- enlarged lymph nodes (neck, groin, armpit area)
- a sharp weight loss, for no apparent reason;
- sweating, especially at night;
- weakness and fatigue;
- Itching in the area of enlarged lymph nodes.
It is the enlarged lymph nodes that serve as the first sign of the disease. In some cases, there is pain in the lymph nodes after taking alcohol.
At the same time, it should be noted that the presence of several enlarged lymph nodes does not yet say that this is an oncological disease. Even with viral diseases, such symptoms can occur. In the event that the clinical picture lasts several days, it is worth immediately contacting a doctor.
It is especially difficult to identify follicular lymphoma, since in the first stages it practically does not manifest itself.
The above symptoms of lymphoma can be supplemented by other signs, depending on the localization of pathology.
Lesions of internal organs
Since the lymphatic tissue is located throughout the human body, the ailment can develop in any area. Most often the disease affects such organs:
- mediastinum area
- the brain;
- The spleen
- The lungs
There are no exact reasons that provoke the disease in the mediastinum region. But, as practice shows, most often pathology develops in this place in people who work with pesticides or eat foods processed by this method.
Lymphoma of the mediastinum manifests itself in the following way:
- cough and frequent shortness of breath;
- pain in the chest area
- sputum production with a trace of blood.
In some cases, it is possible to damage the esophagus, in connection with which the patient is difficult to swallow food.
The main course of treatment is presented in the form of chemotherapy. In this case, the effect of drugs affects the entire body.
Lesion of the lungs
More often than not, lymphoma of the lungs affects people of advanced age. However, the secondary form can be observed even in infants. Pathology can develop due to internal organ transplantation or be hereditary.
The initial symptoms resemble an ordinary cold. Thus lymphonoduses increase, and their palpation causes painful sensations. If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, then the treatment can be successful. At the same time it is worth noting that much depends on the general state of the human immune system.
Lymphoma of the stomach
Throughout the symptoms of lymphoma, the stomach indicates cancer. Precisely diagnose the disease can only after laboratory and instrumental analysis.
Lymphoma of the stomach develops slowly. Men at risk are over 50 years old. The development of the disease can lead to stenosis of the stomach and metabolic disorders. This entails other diseases and a greatly weakened immune system. But, if you start treatment on time, then stomach lymphoma is pretty good to be treated. The main thing is to diagnose the disease in time and start the correct course of treatment.
Defeat of the brain
Lymphoma of the brain is a very rare disease. With this pathology, the lymphoid tissue of the brain is affected. As medical practice shows, the tumor rarely goes beyond the central nervous system and almost does not give metastasis.
More often than not, lymphoma of the brain affects people aged 50-60 years. To the general list the symptom is added the following:
- Visual impairment
- Violations in speech
- frequent headaches;
- epileptic seizures
In the late stages of the development of the disease, memory dips are possible.
Treatment of this type of malignant lymphoma is somewhat more complicated than other subtypes, because of its localization. As a rule, chemotherapy and possible surgical intervention are used.
Lymphoma of the spleen is a malignant lesion of the tissues of this organ. Almost always at the initial stage is asymptomatic. In the main risk group, the elderly.
At the stage of active development, pathology can manifest itself in the following way:
- a sharp decrease in appetite
- elevated temperature, for no apparent reason;
- excessive sweating, especially at night;
- heaviness on the right side of the hypochondrium
- weight loss
- anemia (anemia).
It is the progression of such symptoms is a bright indicator of not only the pathology of the spleen, but also gastric lymphoma. Determine exactly this can only be after the necessary diagnosis.
Stages of development
According to the classification in official medicine, there are 4 stages of the development of the disease:
- first stage — the pathological process is localized and does not spread to other parts of the body or internal organs
- Second — the defeat process affects two or more areas of the lymph nodes
- third — the symptoms of lymphoma are more pronounced, the lymph nodes are greatly enlarged, possibly the internal organ is damaged
- fourth — defeat of internal organs — kidneys, lungs, spleen, stomach. At this stage, the development of large-cell lymphoma or any other species is irreversible.
Accordingly, it can be concluded that the earlier the malignant lymphoma is diagnosed, the greater the chance of successful treatment.
Diagnosis of lymphoma is carried out with the help of instrumental and laboratory studies. For example, follicular lymphoma at the initial stage practically does not manifest itself, in contrast to B-cell lymphoma.
The diagnosis plan is made only after a preliminary examination of the patient is made, signs of the disease and possible reasons for its formation are specified. Typically, the mandatory diagnostic program includes the following:
- blood test (general, biochemical)
- tissue biopsy
- molecular genetic research
- CT of the brain (if there is a suspicion of a tumor).
After that additional tests can be assigned:
- Radiation diagnosis
- cytogenetic research.
This is necessary in order to determine what kind of lymphoma the patient has.
In the early stages, radical treatment of lymphoma gives quite good results. It all depends on what stage the disease is diagnosed and in what condition the patient’s immune system is.
Lymphoma is treated with the following directions:
- Radiotherapy — the tumor can be «neutralized,» that is, stopping its growth
- chemotherapy — with the help of drugs, cancer cells are destroyed (particularly effective in large cell lymphoma)
- Immunotherapy — use of medicines to strengthen the human immune system
Complex use of such therapeutic courses gives positive results. As for folk recipes, then with such cancer, they can be used only on the instructions of a doctor. Self-medication here is unacceptable. Moreover, this can lead not only to complications, but also to death. Treatment of lymphoma requires strict adherence to all prescriptions of the doctor. Only in this case the prognosis of lymphoma treatment can be positive.
Treatment of folk medicine
In tandem with a prescribed course of treatment, folk remedies can greatly accelerate the process of getting rid of the disease. But the use of any means should begin only after it is accurately diagnosed and prescribed treatment by a doctor. It is unacceptable to independently diagnose yourself via the Internet and outside advice.
Folk remedies for the treatment of lymphoma mean taking phytotherapeutic broths from such herbs:
- birch buds
You can also prepare and apply tinctures of the recovery spectrum of the action. Such folk remedies help to restore the body relatively quickly and strengthen immunity. But remember, that any medicines should be used only after consultation with the attending physician. Not all folk remedies are universal and suitable for every person.
The case is also that for proper treatment you need to know not only the signs, but also the causes of the disease. Therefore, independently diagnose, one symptom alone can not.
Unfortunately, as such prevention of lymphoma, as well as other cancers, no. But, if you lead a correct lifestyle, monitor your health and seek medical help in a timely manner, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing any disease.