Lymphoma is the disease wherein the malignant tumor occurs in lymphatic system. The cells continuously divide, wiping out the healthy cells thereby compromising the immune system. The lymphoma is of two types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The symptoms are swollen lymph node, night sweats, and weight loss. The prognosis of the lymphoma depends upon various factors.

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Can Lymphoma Kill You?

Whether lymphoma can kill you or not depends upon various factors. These factors may either in isolation or in combination may affect the prognosis of lymphoma. The fatality is reduced by using the most modern technology in diagnosing lymphoma. Following are the factors which affect the fatality of lymphoma:

  1. Use Of Diagnostic Methods: Various diagnostic methods ranging from the blood test to highly advanced imaging techniques such as FDG-PET scans are currently available for the diagnosis of lymphoma. The diagnostic technique used, is completely subjected to oncologist discretion and availability of the resources at a given place. Thus, if the most modern techniques are used to diagnose lymphoma, the accuracy of the result would be very high, and the treatment is possible.
  2. Stage Of Lymphoma: There are various stages of lymphoma ranging from very initial stage to the complex metastasized stage. The patient’s survival rate largely depends upon the stage at which the lymphoma is diagnosed. Early diagnosis of the disease leads to complete cure while the treatment becomes more complex at the later stage. The stage in which the lymphoma metastasized to other organs reduces the chances of survival and for many patients at this stage; the palliative care is the only option.
  3. Age Of The Patient: Not the patient of every age is able to withstand the side effects and the complication of chemotherapy or radiotherapy which are generally advised as a treatment of lymphoma. Further, the immune system also does not able to kill the cancer cells at an older age. This age does not allow the speedy recovery of the patients from side effects. Thus, the oncologist, while deciding the strategy for treatment also takes the age of the patient in to consideration. If the patient is too older, the lymphoma, very often, lead to fatal consequences.
  4. Treatment Strategy: Treatment strategy also plays a vital role in the prognosis of lymphoma. The oncologist defines the treatment strategy in such as way that the patient gets the maximum efficacy with minimum side effects. A proper treatment strategy advised by the oncologist decides the course of recovery. The oncologist may advise the combination of various treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem cell transplant, immunotherapy and steroidal therapy.
  5. Response Of Patient To Treatment: For the treatment to be effective, the patient should positively respond to the treatment. For complete cure of the disease, the cancer cells should be killed by the treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In case the patient does not respond to treatment, the oncologist may opt for new treatment strategy.
  6. Relapse Of Lymphoma: Relapse means the return of lymphoma. There were some cells that escape the therapy and started growing thereby again forming a lump. Thus, the use of sophisticated diagnostic technique is required to diagnose any remaining lymphoma cells.
  7. Patient’s Willingness: The patient’s willingness to get treatment also impacts the prognosis of the disease. It includes the patient’s willingness to consult a physician for the early symptoms and also to get the treatment after diagnosis. People generally ignore the symptoms, and this led to the diagnosis of the disease at later stage and reduces their chances of survival. Thus, for better cure and high survival, the patient should consult immediately after experiencing symptoms.

Conclusion

The survival rate of the lymphoma is relatively high as compared to some other forms of cancer provided the disease should be diagnosed at an early stage. There are various other factors impacting the prognosis of lymphoma such as diagnostic tools used, treatment, patient’s response to treatment, and age of the patient. The consequences of the lymphoma do not attribute to only a single factor rather it is the series of factors.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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