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Lymphoma Cancer Treatment

Lymphoma affects lymphocytes (white blood cells of the immune system that help combat infection). These cells grow uncontrollably, thereby hindering the cell death and regeneration process. Lymphoma cancer treatment in India can be easily availed, Team Medmonks under the guidance of healthcare professionals will help you walk through the entire process. What you need to do is post a query and share your concerns, and we will get back to you with a suitable treatment plan.

In UK, Lymphoma is the fifth most common type of cancer. Individuals exhibiting traces of lymphoma cancer can be of any age, it can even occur in children. Lymphoma is mostly curable, and the survival rates after diagnosis are also good.

Abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in lymph nodes, such as in armpits, neck or groin. Sometimes these cancerous lymphocytes accumulate in other parts of the body too, deeper in other parts of the lymphatic system, like the spleen.

Less frequently occurring lymphoma can be extranodal, invading sites other than lymph nodes, thymus, spleen and the pharyngeal lymphatic ring. Extranodal lymphoma impacts other vital organs such as lungs, liver or bones.

Types of Lymphoma

Hodgkin Lymphoma– An individual is diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when a lymphocyte is abnormally uncontrolled. B lymphocytes (B cells) and T lymphocytes (T cells) are the two types of lymphocyte. Hodgkin lymphoma originates from a B cell. The cancer usually affects one lymph node but then gradually spreads to adjacent areas too. In Hodgkin lymphoma, specific types of abnormal cells called Reed–Sternberg is spotted under a microscope.

The two types of Hodgkin lymphoma are as follows:

Classical Hodgkin lymphoma– It has four kinds

  • nodular sclerosis
  • mixed cellularity
  • lymphocyte-rich
  • lymphocyte-depleted

Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL)

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma– Over-stimulation of a receptor on the surface of B cells results in non-Hodgkin lymphomas. This receptor plays a vital role in stimulating the growth of B-cells only when it is required, but in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the division of B-cells is out of control. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas accounted for 210,000 deaths globally in 2010.

What causes lymphoma to develop?

Lymphoma occurs when the white blood cells of the immune system multiply rampantly. This is caused by DNA variations in the cells that means they no longer control their regenerative process.

However, further research has been warranted in analysing genetic variations that occur in lymphoma, which would open avenues to novel and minimally invasive treatments. 

There are categories of lymphoma and risk factors differ for each variety. There have been many cases of lymphoma where individuals did not exhibit any risk factors and today also the cause is not known.

The significant risk factor for lymphoma is an infection of the immune system and other problems pertaining to it. Various lifestyle factors have also been associated with increased risk of such types of cancer.

What are the symptoms of lymphoma?

Some of the known symptoms of lymphoma are as follows:

•    Enlarged Lymph Nodes

•    Fatigue

•    Loss of Weight

•    Sweating

•    Itching

Risk factors associated with Lymphoma Cancer

Exhibiting one or more symptoms of lymphoma does not necessarily means cancer, but significantly increases the odds of developing lymphoma. On an average, the likelihood of developing lymphoma is quite less. Some of the risk factors for lymphoma are as follows:

•    Gender and age

•    First-degree relative inheritance

•    Inflammation in the immune system

•    Breast implants- These increases odds of anaplastic large cell lymphoma in the breast tissue.

•    Ethnicity and location: In U.S., white Americans are at higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma when compared to African-Americans and Asian-Americans.

•    Weaker immune system when one contracts HIV/AIDS or has undergone an organ transplant

•    Other infections and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, or celiac disease

•    Individual’s born with Immunity disease

•    History of any other cancer

•    Precursor conditions (non-cancerous conditions of lymphocytes)

•    Individual’s exposure to benzene or other chemicals that neutralise bugs or weeds

Stages of Lymphoma

The stages for both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas in adults is same, but there are few exceptions:

Cutaneous (skin) lymphomas originate in the skin and behave differently to other lymphomas.

Stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children are slightly different from stages in adults.

Among adults, the stages of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is similar. The four stages of lymphoma are as follows.

Stage 1 – Indicates lymphoma in only 1 group of lymph nodes (glands). Restricted around the diaphragm.

Stage 1E– Also known as extranodal lymphoma, this stage determines that lymphoma originates in anorgan of the body outside the lymphatic system and is limited to that organ.

Stage 2- Lymphoma develops in two or more groups of lymph nodes. These can be found in any part of the body, but stage 2 lymphoma diagnosis is restricted to one side of the diaphragm.

Stage 2E of extranodal lymphoma implies that the lymphoma that originated in an organ of the body and is also found in one or more groups of lymph nodes.

Stage 4– It is the stage of lymphoma when the cancer is widespread, even outside the lymphatic system, for example, the lungs, liver, bone marrow or solid bones.

Stage 2A determines lymphoma in 2 or more groups of lymph nodes on the same side of the diaphragm and when no B symptoms exhibit.

Stage 1B lymphoma determines traces found in one group of lymph nodes and when at least 1 of the B symptoms persist.

Extranodal lymphoma and lymphoma in the spleen

For extranodal, letter ‘E’ is used. Such stage of lymphoma determines cancer in the digestive system or the salivary glands. Lymphoma in the spleen implies ‘S’ after your stage. 1S is stage 1 lymphoma that develops in the spleen.  Patients take note, cancer in the spleen and thymus does not indicate stage four lymphoma.

Grading of Follicular Lymphoma

Individuals with follicular lymphoma are classified under grade: 1, 2 or 3, which is determined by the number of large, follicular lymphoma cells (centroblasts) that can be spotted under a microscope:

Grade 1- Indicates that there are between 0 and 5 large cells.

Grade 2- Indicates existence of between 6 and 15 large cells.

Grade 3- Determines more than 15 large cells.

Grade 3- Is further divided into 3A and 3B.

In 3A, more than 15 Centro blasts exist. In 3B, the tissue is comprised of these large lymphoma cells.

Grade 3B follicular lymphoma exhibits traits like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which is a high-grade lymphoma.

Treatment

The treatment one undergoes, depends on the type, stage and grade of lymphoma:

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment:

Chemotherapy–  Drugs are administered into the immune system to neutralise the pathogen.

Radiation therapy– Exposing the patients to high-voltage radiations to kill the tumour cell

Immunotherapy– Body’s immune system attacks cancerous cells

Targeted therapy– Targets lymphoma cells to stall the growth of the cancer cells

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma are:

•    Chemotherapy

•    Radiation therapy

•    Immunotherapy

Steroids: Administered via injection to treat lymphoma.

Surgery: It involves the removal of the spleen or other organs when the lymphoma spreads aggressively.

Stem cell transplant shows potential when all the other therapies and radiations fail to show promising results. Firstly, the patient will undergo extremely high-doses of chemotherapy after which the cancer pathogens will be demolished, and stem cells in the bone marrow will be destroyed. Hence a stem cell transplant is done to replace the cells that were killed.

Two types of stem cell transplants are as follows:

•    Autologous transplantation- In which one’s stem cells are used.

•    Allogeneic transplant- In which stem cells from a donor are used.

What is the cost of Lymphoma Treatment in India?

Lymphoma treatment is economical in India when compared to other countries. The cost of bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant for removal of the Lymphoma starts from USD 23000. Radiation therapy costs near about USD 5000, and the cost of chemotherapy per cycle is USD 500.

The cost of the complete treatment depends on various other factors.

•    Hospital preference

•    Oncologist

•    Grade and type of lymphoma

•    Post-operative care expenses

Best Oncologists and Hospitals for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in India

India has carved a niche for itself for availing any treatment at a lower cost. The hospitals in India stick to their multi-disciplinary approach and boast of globally renowned oncologists. The best oncologists and the hospitals for Lymphoma are as follows:

•    Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram- Dr Vinod Raina

•    Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram – Dr Rahul Bhargava

•    Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket – Dr Rahul Naithani

•    BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Amit Agarwal

•    BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Dharma Choudhary

FAQ’s

1.    What does grade of lymphoma mean?

 Grade of your lymphoma determines how lymphoma looks under a microscope. It is thus the grade of a patient’s lymphoma which helps in deciding the treatment plan.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is generally categorised as either ‘high-grade’ or ‘low-grade’. High-grade lymphoma is associated with rampant division of cells. In low-grade lymphoma, cell division is comparatively slow. One of the most common example of low-grade lymphoma is Follicular lymphoma.

2.    What does early stage lymphoma mean?

Early’ stage implies that an individual has either stage 1 or stage 2 lymphoma.