The lymphatic system is a vital part of the body’s immune system, helping it to fight disease and infection. Lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the body’s lymphatic system, compromising its ability to fight infection.
There are two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The difference in the diseases themselves is a subtle one—a difference in the type of white blood cells involved. Despite this seemingly minor difference, the distinction is important when it comes to treating the disease. Taking into account this distinction, the doctors at the Beverly Hills Cancer Center are well-versed in lymphoma treatment and create a customized program for each patient at our private Los Angeles facility
Signs and symptoms of lymphoma
Lymphoma has several signs and symptoms to consider. None of these conclusively point to lymphoma, but it is still wise to see a doctor for lymphoma screening should any of them arise. Signs and symptoms include:
- Swollen lymph nodes, noticeable in the neck, armpits or groin
- Abdominal swelling or pain
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nighttime sweating
- Weight loss
- Increased sensitivity to alcohol
Testing and diagnosis
When it comes to diagnosing lymphoma, doctors will initially conduct a non-invasive physical exam in which they will simply determine if the lymph nodes, liver or spleen are enlarged. If there is enlargement, it does not mean patients have lymphoma. It simply means further tests will be conducted.
Blood and urine tests may be done next as part of a lymphoma screening. This is primarily for the purpose of determining if the swelling is due to some other infection or disease.
Imaging tests may also be used for the purpose of detecting tumors in the body. There are several standard imaging tests that may be used, such as x-ray, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET).
A lymph node biopsy may be performed for the purpose of lab testing. By examining lymph node tissue, a lab technician can determine if lymphoma is present.
A bone marrow test may be required as part of lymphoma screening, in which a biopsy is taken of the bone marrow and examined for cancer cells.
Treatment options for Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma vary in their specific application and we're happy to offer various methods for lymphoma treatment at our Los Angeles facility. However, the general treatment types are the same for both. Additionally, treatment may not be necessary with lymphoma. This type of cancer can be indolent, or slowly moving, giving patients the option to delay treatment for years. During this time, there will still be regular checkups with the doctor to monitor the disease.
Once treatment is necessary for lymphoma, treatment options at our Los Angeles facility include:
- Chemotherapy, for the administration of cancer-killing drugs
- Radiation therapy, which uses beams of high-powered energy to eliminate cancer cells
- Stem cell transplant, to replace the abnormal blood cells with healthy ones following radiation therapy or chemotherapy
- Medications for immune system enhancement
- Radioimmunotherapy, to deliver cancer-killing radiation directly to the cancerous cells
Our doctors are proud to provide patients with among the best lymphoma treatment Los Angeles has available.
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