Flashcards in Lymphoma Deck (13):
What is lymphoma?
Cancer of the lymphocytes (a type of WBC).
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.
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.
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:
- Hep C
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
Investigations for suspected lymphoma
FBC (high lymphocytes, low platelets, low RBCs, pancytopenia)
Lymph node biopsy
Bone marrow biopsy
U&Es, LFTs (baseline)
Differentials for NHL
Leukaemia (acute lymphocytic)
Management of lymphoma
Monoclonal antibodies (rituximab)
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.
Overall 5-year survival rate for people with NHL:
Overall 5-year survival rate for people with Hodgkin's lymphoma