Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a group of related malignancies (cancers) that appear in the lymphatic system and usually spreads throughout the person’s body. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Some of lymphomas develop very slowly over the years, while others progress quickly over months. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin disease. In the United States, approx. 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and the number or higher among people with HIV infections or older people. The cause of this disorder is not known, but some scientists suggest links to unidentified viruses.

The disease is not contagious. The symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, severe constipation, appetite loss, pain of abdomen or distention, development of leg swelling, diarrhea, weight loss, malabsorption, fever, night sweats, and anemia. A doctor diagnoses non-hodgkin lymphoma by obtaining a biopsy from a lymph node and tries to differ it from hodgkin’s disease and others that result in enlarged lymph nodes. To define extension of the disease and staging, gallium scanning and CT (computed tomography scan of the abdomen) and pelvis may be performed. In most cases, a bone marrow biopsy is required.

The treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas depends on the form of the disease and the stage. Patients in early stages of this disease (stages 1 and 2) are frequently treated with radiation therapy limited to adjacent parts and site of the lymphoma. Patients in late stages (3 and 4) of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with low-grade lymphoma might not require prompt treatment, but often checkups are needed to be sure the disorder does not result in possibility of severe complications.

Transplantation of bone marrow is most successful in patients under the age of 55, but it has some risks. Approx. 5% of the people die of infections in early stages after this procedure, before the bone marrow heals and may produce needed count of blood white cells to fight infections.

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