Malignant tumors can occur in any organ system in the body. When the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system are directly involved, the tumor is a lymphoma. Some lymphomas are also called Hodgkin’s disease. These tumors may occur at any age, but there is a progressive increase in their occurrence with advancing age.
Often the first sign of lymphoma is the development of a lump. This may be close enough to the skin to be felt, or it may press on an organ and cause symptoms. Usually your physician needs to obtain some tissue to make the diagnosis and select the proper treatment. Fever, night sweats, weight loss, and itching may also be presenting symptoms.
Important Points in Treatment
There are several varieties of lymphomas. Treatment varies with both the location and the kind of lymphoma. Some treatments involve x-ray therapy. Many lymphomas are treated with oral or injected medication. These treatments, called chemotherapy, suppress and kill the tumor cells. Some lymphomas are so susceptible to treatment that chemotherapy will cure them. In other cases, there is suppression of the tumor and slowing of its growth. The process of determining the kind and extent of lymphoma is called staging. Staging involves a number of x-ray and laboratory examinations and may require surgery.
In Hodgkin’s disease, the long-term benefit with treatment is excellent. With other forms of lymphoma, the outcome depends on the kind and extent of the tumor. Treatments are in regular courses, and some medications necessitate that frequent visits be made to your physician’s office for intravenous injection and tests to monitor the progress of the treatment.
Notify Our Office If
- You notice a lump or feel a mass that was not previously there.