Treatment Options for Lymphomas
at Staten Island Radiation Oncology

Lymphomas are an uncommon group of malignancies that are often quite sensitive to treatment. Depending on the extent of the disease and the type of lymphoma, a hopeful outcome is often expected.

Lymphomas are malignancies of the lymphatic system; they are categorized as being Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin in variety. There are many Non- Hodgkin lymphoma types and these are categorized as either being low, intermediate or high grade. Lymphomas of higher grade act more aggressively. Treatment depends on the type and stage of the disease.

Most lymphomas are treated with intravenous chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may be added after chemotherapy to "consolidate" the treatment – to help maximize local control. For early disease, radiation can be used definitively, without chemotherapy.

Risk Factors

For most lymphomas, patients have no known risk factor. Known risk factors:

  • Immunosuppression – i.e. HIV
  • Epstein Bar Virus
  • Helicobacter Pylori (bacteria that causes stomach ulcers)
  • Human T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma virus type-1
  • Hepatitis C virus
Symptoms

High fevers, weight loss, and night sweats are classic symptoms of lymphoma. Lymphoma may be diagnosed after testing has been completed on swollen lymph nodes or abnormal growths. Lymph node swelling can cause local symptoms including pressure on adjacent tissues and organs.

Diagnosis

Biopsy is necessary to prove the diagnosis of lymphoma. Often an enlarged lymph node is biopsied.

Staging

Tests are performed to evaluate the extent of the disease, meaning how far it has spread. Staging exams utilized in the management of lymphoma include bone marrow biopsy, a CT scan of chest/Abdomen/Pelvis, and PET/CT scan.

Sources and further readings
“Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.” National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
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“Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.” Mayoclinic.com.
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“Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.
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“Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.” Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
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“Treatment Summaries for People with Cancer.” National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
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“What You Should Know About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.” The National Cancer. Institute.  
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