Lymphoma – symptoms, causes and complications

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lymphoma symptoms causes

This is a cancer of the lymphatic system which is a part of the body’s germ – fighting network. Lymphatic system is made from bone marrow, thymus gland, spleen and lymph nodes (lymph glands). It is known that lymphoma can affect all of the mentioned areas but also it can affect other organs throughout the body. There are many types of lymphoma and the main subtypes of it are:

  • Non – Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma (formerly called Hodgkin’s disease)

The best treatment for your lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma that you have and its severity. Different therapies can be used, such as a bone marrow transplant, radiation therapy, immunotherapy medications, chemotherapy or some combination of these.

Signs and symptoms of lymphoma

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin which is painless

You should talk with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms which worry you.

Causes of lymphoma

Doctors are not sure what the cause for lymphoma is. It is known that lymphoma begins when lymphocyte (a disease-fighting white blood cell) develops a genetic mutation. This mutation is telling the cell to multiply rapidly which is causing diseased lymphocytes that continue to multiply. Also, this mutation is allowing the cells to go living when other cells would die. This is causing too many diseases and ineffective cells in your lymph nodes which are causing the lymph nodes to swell.

Subtypes of lymphoma

  1. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): This is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside the bones where blood cells are made. The main symptoms of CLL are frequent infections; weight loss; night sweats; pain in the upper left portion of the abdomen, which may be caused by an enlarged spleen; fever; fatigue; enlarged, but painless, lymph nodes.
  2. Cutaneous B – cell lymphoma: This is rare type of cancer which begins in the white blood cells and it attacks the skin. It begins in the B – cells which are a type of disease – fighting cell called lymphocytes. Cutaneous B – cell lymphoma have subtypes – intravascular diffuse large B – cell lymphoma; primary cutaneous diffuse large B – cell lymphoma; primary cutaneous marginal zone B – cell lymphoma; primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma.
  3. Cutaneous T – cell lymphoma: This rare type of cancer begins in the white blood cells and it attacks the skin. This type of cancer caner can cause rash – like redness and sometimes skin tumors. Treatments which can be used for this cancer include radiation therapy, medications, light therapy and skin creams.
  4. Hodgkin’s lymphoma: This is a cancer of the lymphatic system which is part of the immune system. It can affect people from all ages, but it is most commonly noticed in people between 20 and 40 and people over 55. The most common symptoms are increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol or pain in the lymph nodes after drinking alcohol; severe itching; unexplained weight loss; night sweats; fever; persistent fatigue; painless swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin.
  5. Non – Hodgkin’s lymphoma: This type of cancer originate in the lymphatic system. In this type of lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes which are types of white blood cells. the most common symptoms are unexplained weight loss; night sweats; fever; persistent fatigue; chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing; abdominal pain or swelling; painless, swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin.
  6. Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia: This is rare type of cancer which begins in the white blood cells. The most common symptoms are confusion; changes in vision; shortness of breath; headache; fever; numbness in your hands or feet; weight loss; fatigue; bleeding from the nose or the gums; easy bruising.

Risk factors: Here are some factors which can increase the risk of lymphoma:

  • Developing certain infections: There are some infections which are associated with the increased risk of lymphoma, including Helicobacter pylori infection and Epstein – Barr virus.
  • Having an impaired immune system: It is noticed that lymphoma is more common in people who are taking drugs to suppress the immune system and in people who have immune system diseases.
  • Being male: There are some studies in which are shown that males are having more chances of developing lymphoma than females.
  • Your age: It is known that some types of lymphoma are more common in young adults, while other types of lymphoma are most often diagnosed in people over 55.

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