Lymphoma is the name of a group of blood cancers that start in the lymphatic system. The two main types of lymphoma are the Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
About 90 percent of people with a diagnosis of lymphoma have non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); the rest have Hodgkin lymphoma. Some types of lymphoma are curable. Patients with other types of lymphoma can control the disease and have a good quality of life with medical treatment.
What Is The Survival Rate Of Lymph Node Cancer?
Current advances in treatment have allowed getting better survival rates in lymph node cancer patients, giving them a hope. But it is important to keep in mind that these rates can vary widely according to the different types and stages of lymph node cancer, and also a person´s age affects the aforementioned rates.
The average rate of 5-year survival for a patient with non-Hodgkin lymphoma is 70%, while in Hodgkin lymphoma is 86%. However, this may vary according to certain parameters.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is one of the more curable types of cancer. Doctors do not know the cause of most cases of HL. It is not possible to prevent lymphoma and you cannot get lymphoma from another person. It is usually diagnosed when a person is between 20 and 40 years old. It is less common in middle age and becomes more common again after 60 years of age.
Signs And Symptoms
-The most common sign of Hodgkin lymphoma is enlargement (inflammation) of one or more lymph nodes. The enlarged lymph node may be in the neck, upper chest, armpit, abdomen or groin. It is painless.
A sign is a change in the body that the doctor observes in an examination or in the result of a medical test. A symptom is a change in the body that the patient can see or feel.
Some of the signs and symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma are:
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- A cough and difficulty breathing.
- Night sweats.
- Weight reduction.
- Skin itching.
Diagnosis And Staging
Having the correct diagnosis is important to get the right treatment. Some patients may wish to obtain a second medical opinion regarding the diagnosis before starting treatment. Talk with your doctor about the tests used to make the diagnosis.
Doctors do a test called a “lymph node biopsy” to determine if a patient has Hodgkin lymphoma.
How Is A Lymph Node Biopsy Done?
First, a surgeon removes all or part of an enlarged lymph node. Then, a pathologist examines the lymph node under a microscope (a pathologist is a doctor who identifies diseases by examining cells and tissues under the microscope).
The doctor will do other tests to stage the disease (to determine how much the disease has spread). Staging tests include:
- Blood tests to evaluate the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets count; blood tests are also done to look for other signs of the disease.
- Bone marrow tests to look for Hodgkin lymphoma cells in the bone marrow.
Imaging tests to create images of the thorax and abdomen in order to see if there are masses of lymphoma in the lymph nodes, the liver, the spleen or lungs. Imaging tests include:
- Thorax radiograph.
- Computerized scan (CT scan).
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Positron emission tomography (PET scan).
There are many types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Most people with NHL have a B cell lymphoma (about 85 percent). The others have T-cell or natural killer cells lymphoma.
Slowly progressing non-Hodgkin lymphoma is called indolent or low-grade, whereas rapid progression is called aggressive or high-grade.
There are treatments for each type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Some patients with rapidly progressing non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be cured. In the case of patients with slow-progressing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, treatment can keep the disease under control for many years. This may be the case even when the tests show traces of the disease in some parts of the body.