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Lymphoma

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All about lymphomas …

WHAT IS IT?
- Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system.

- It can affect lymph nodes in all parts of the body.

- It can also involve other organs, such as the spleen or the bone marrow.

- Occasionally it is found in other areas of the body, such as lymphoma of the stomach.

SYMPTOMS
The most common symptom of lymphoma is a painless lump or swelling in the neck, armpit or groin. Other symptoms include:

- Excessive sweating, especially at night;

- Fever;

- Unexplained loss of weight;

- Loss of appetite;

- Fatigue;

- Cough or breathlessness;

- Persistent itch.

HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA
- Named after Dr Thomas Hodgkin, who was the first to document the condition.

- Lymphoma is called Hodgkin’s lymphoma if Reed-Sternberg cells are found under microscopy.

- Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur at any age, although most patients are either aged 15-35, or older than 55.

- Almost 1,500 new cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed each year in the UK.

- The condition affects more men than women.

- Treatment is highly effective, with most people who are affected being completely cured.

NON-HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma simply means any lymphoma that is not Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There are many different types.

- Around 9,200 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK.

- It is more common in those aged over 55, and is one of the most common cancers in those aged 75 and over.

High-grade
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is called high-grade when the cells appear to be dividing quickly.

- It can be known as aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

- Cases are more common in people aged over 50, but it can occur at any age.

- Like Hodgkin’s lymphoma, high-grade non-Hodgkin’s affects more men than women.

- It usually responds well to treatment.

- High-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas include:

- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (the most common type);

- Burkitt’s lymphoma;

- Lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Low-grade
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is called low-grade when the cells appear to be dividing slowly. Low-grade lymphoma can take a long time to develop.

- It is more common in older people.

- More men are affected than women.

- Most people have advanced low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by the time they are diagnosed. This can behave in a chronic way, sometimes active, and sometimes not.

- The low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas include:

- Follicular lymphoma (the most common type);

- Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma;

- Low-grade MALT (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue).

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