The growth of cancer cells that originate in the lymphatic system and develop from lymphocytes is referred to as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is a more common condition than Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Symptoms of Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Some of the signs and symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are as follows:
- The lymph nodes in the armpits, neck or groin may become swollen
- Breathing difficulties, coughing and chest pain
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Loss of weight
- Night sweats
Causes of Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- The exact cause of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not known. However, it develops when older lymphocytes do not normally die in due course, but instead grow and divide abnormally. There are two types of lymphocytes, i.e. B cells that produce antibodies to fight off infections and T cells that directly attack the infection causing agents. Most cases of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are cause due to abnormal B cells growth.
- An increased age of over sixty; exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides, etc; intake of immune system suppressing drugs and infection with certain bacteria and viruses increase the vulnerability to developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Treatment of Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma
The treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on the diagnosis, stage and type of cancer that affects the patient.
- Chemotherapy involves the intravenous administration of special drugs that are designed to find and kill the cancer cells
- Radiation therapy uses intense and precision rays of radiation to kill the cancer cells.
- Medications that boost the immune system to fight the cancer cells
- Stem cell transplant that involves higher doses of radiation therapy and chemotherapy to kill the cancer causing cells
Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma Life Expectancy
The survival rate for Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on various factors such as the age of the patient, the type and stage of the condition. Most statistics about the survival rate for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma refer to the five year survival rate which indicates the rate of survival of the patients for at least a period of five years after diagnosis.
The overall five year survival rate is 63 percent while the overall ten year survival rate for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 51 percent
It is difficult to pin point a prognosis for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to wide variety in outlook towards the condition. This is because slow growing lymphomas result in a longer life span but are very difficult to detect early due to lack of symptoms. This means late detection and hence difficult treatment. On the other hand aggressive lymphomas are easy to detect but can result in quick damage and rapid death. But since it can be detected early, it is often curable.
Slow growing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas have an average survival rate of seven to ten years, which is usually dependent on other risk factors. The rapid advance in medical science has increase the four year survival rate for Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma to nearly 91 percent.
Aggressive lymphomas, if detected early and treated, can result in a cure and higher chance of survival