Diagnosing and Treating Lymphoma in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey
Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers worldwide. It develops when a patient’s white blood cells become cancerous, and because these cells travel throughout the body, the cancer can spread quickly to other organs.
Luckily, lymphoma is highly treatable, and the expert oncologists at Regional Cancer Care Associates are experienced in treating this disease. With locations throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, we can provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment to arm patients for their battle with lymphoma.
Types of Lymphoma
More than 20 different types of lymphoma have been identified. These types can be narrowed down to three broad categories that account for most lymphoma cases, including:
- Hodgkin lymphoma: The least common type, Hodgkin lymphoma typically arises in the upper body. It’s most common in adolescents and young adults, and is easily diagnosed at early stages.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more difficult to diagnose early because it can arise anywhere in the body. It comes in low and high grades and can affect all ages.
- High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma: This form also occurs in every age group. The term describes lymphomas that grow at a faster, more aggressive rate than other lymphomas. High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma is also more likely to spread quickly.
Signs and Symptoms
Lymphomas of all types are associated with similar symptoms. Some common signs include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin, or elsewhere in the body
- Swelling in the stomach area
- Chronic fevers and night sweats
- Weakness or tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
Keep in mind that these symptoms could suggest many conditions other than lymphoma. Always speak with a doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you or a loved one experiences concerning symptoms.
Causes and Risk Factors
While the rate of lymphoma occurrence is increasing, doctors still don’t know all the causes. Some theories suggest certain kinds of lymphoma are caused by viruses, but this hypothesis is unconfirmed. Researchers have identified some factors that may increase patients’ risk, including:
Risks for Hodgkin Lymphoma:
- Previous infections of Epstein-Barr virus or mononucleosis
- Severely weakened or deficient immune system
- Family history of Hodgkin lymphoma
Risks for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma:
- Age 60 or older
- Exposure to chemicals found in herbicides and insecticides
- Exposure to radiation
- Previous chemotherapy treatments
- Previous infections of Epstein-Barr virus or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Other chronic infections
Diagnosis and Treatment
As with any disease, early diagnosis of lymphoma increases the chances of successful treatment. There is no single screening test for lymphoma. Rather, your doctor will check for swollen lymph nodes and swelling and may run one of the following tests:
- Blood count to measure the balance between types of blood cells
- Chest X-ray to detect swollen lymph nodes or other signs of disease
- Lymph node biopsy to search for abnormal cells
- Other types of testing, including further blood tests
Different types of lymphoma are treated differently, and some can be cured. Hodgkin lymphoma is curable in many cases – especially if caught in the early stages – through the use of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma can sometimes be cured in the same way. Low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, however, can only be fully cured with a bone marrow transplant.
Battle Lymphoma with Us
At Regional Cancer Care Associates, we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality and most comprehensive treatment. We’ll work with you to help fight your lymphoma diagnosis and achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more about lymphoma diagnosis and treatment in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, contact us today.