Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer of the blood that appears between 15 and 35 years
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer of the blood that affects lymphocytes. In this disease, white blood cells – lymphocytes – begin to grow uncontrollably. The disease affects men more often and has two incidence peaks. Once the diagnosis is established, the patient needs medical treatment and supervision.
Doctors say that in the case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, white blood cells behave abnormally, grow uncontrolled until they give rise to tumors bearing the name of lymphomas.
This malignancy has two incidence peaks: first, between 15-35 years and second after 55 years. This form of cancer is more common in men than in women.
Experts say that in the medical literature there are more than 30 types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which are classified into two major categories: non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with slow, indolent progression – it has a lower degree of malignancy and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with progression fast, aggressive – this one with high malignancy.
Here are the main signs and symptoms:
- the lymph nodes become inflamed and the pain, usually the lymph nodes in the neck, axilla or groin area,
- abdominal pain occurs,
- stressed cough,
- respiratory problems,
- bone pain,
- weight loss,
- high fever,
- headache accompanied by dizziness,
- vision problems,
- increased fatigue,
- night sweats
What are the risk factors for the disease:
- Long-term administration of drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Infections with certain viruses or bacteria. There are studies that argue that the risk for this type of cancer can be increased in those who have the HIV virus, but also in those with Helicobacter pylori.
- Frequent contact with certain chemicals.
- Old age. Although non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can occur at any age, it increases the risk with aging.
In order to establish the diagnosis, the doctor will request blood, urine tests. The patient will also have to undergo imaging tests, either MRI or PET – positron emission tomography. Also, bone biopsy and lymph node biopsy will be required.
Treatment consists of radiotherapy, chemotherapy sessions, sometimes bone marrow transplantation or stem cell transplantation.