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Oncology > Lymphoma > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lymphoma Deck (13):
1

What is lymphoma?

Cancer of the lymphocytes (a type of WBC).

2

What happens in lymphoma?

Lymphocytes multiply in an abnormal way and start to collect in lymph nodes.

They lose their infection-fighting properties, making the patient more vulnerable to infection.

3

Epidemiology of lymphoma

Non-hodgkin lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer in the UK (after breast, prostate, lung, bowel and skin).

Uncommon before 50 years of age.

4

Causes of lymphoma

Mutation in lymphocyte. Aetiology not well understood.

Not strongly heritable (though risk does rise slightly if first degree relative had lymphoma)

Can be triggered by viruses and bacteria:
- EBV
- HIV
- Hep C

5

Symptoms of lymphoma

Painless lymph swelling (neck / armpit / groin)
Night sweats (drenching)
Weight loss (>10%, due to hypermetabolic state)
Fatigue / malaise (due to anaemia)
Fever (>38 C)

Easy bruising / bleeding
Frequent infection

6

Examination findings

Pyrexia
Lymphadenopathy
Splenomegaly

7

Investigations for suspected lymphoma

FBC (high lymphocytes, low platelets, low RBCs, pancytopenia)

Lymph node biopsy

Bone marrow biopsy

U&Es, LFTs (baseline)

8

Differentials for NHL

Hodgkin's lymphoma
Leukaemia (acute lymphocytic)
Hep C
Cytomegalovirus
Tuberculosis
HIV
Syphilis

9

Management of lymphoma

Monoclonal antibodies (rituximab)
Radiotherapy
Chemotherapy

10

What are monoclonal antibodies?

Tiny particles that attach themselves to both healthy and cancerous cells, and signal the immune system to destroy them.

After the therapy is complete, the healthy cells usually return to normal, leaving the cancerous cells dead.

11

Overall 5-year survival rate for people with NHL:

70%

12

Overall 5-year survival rate for people with Hodgkin's lymphoma

90%

13

Main difference between Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin

They affect different subtypes of lymphocyte.

Hodgkin is identified by presence of Reed-Steinberg cells.

Hodgkin's is more common in younger people

Hodgkin's is typically identified earlier, and is therefore more treatable.