Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells (lymphocytes) of the body’s immune system. Lymphocytes are generally found in the spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow, thymus, and other parts of the body like intestine, genital areas, bone etc.

Types of Lymphoma:

Lymphomas are mainly of two types:

  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma

In Non-Hodgkin lymphomas white blood cells called a T cell or B cell becomes abnormal and further continues making more and more abnormal cells, thereby causing a risk to spread to almost any other region of the body.

It is important for doctors to know the type of lymphoma as it helps them to choose a specific treatment option and making a general outlook (prognosis) of a cancer patient.


Many times, doctors don’t know what causes lymphoma. A person with a weakened immune system is at increased risk of causing lymphoma due to any of following risk factors:

  • Age 60s or older
  • Males are more prone to have this cancer
  • HIV / AIDS;
  • Born with an immune disease
  • History of organ transplant
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, or Celiac disease
  • Viral infection such as Epstein-Barr, hepatitis C, or human herpes virus 8 (HHV8)
  • Close relative having lymphoma
  • Exposure to benzene or insecticide chemicals
  • Treatment History of any other cancer
  • Treatment for cancer with radiation


Various warning signs of lymphoma might include:

  • Lymph nodes Swelling in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever & Fatigue
  • Loss of Weight
  • Night sweats
  • Stomach pain
  • Itching

If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately to rule out lymphoma.

Physical Examination: The doctor will feel for related symptoms like swollen lymph nodes. But most of the time, physical symptoms are not sufficient to confirm Lymphoma.

Biopsy: If your doctor suspected any sign of lymphoma, a lymph node biopsy test may be performed to check for cancer cells. In this test, a doctor will remove a small portion of affected lymph node tissue with a needle.

Once Lymphoma is confirmed, any of following tests can be performed to find out how far the cancer has spread:

Blood Test: It helps to find out the number of cancer causing cells in the blood.

Bone-Marrow Aspiration or Biopsy: A needle is used to remove tissue or fluid from bone marrow to find out lymphoma cells.

Imaging Tests

  • X-ray of Chest
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography)
  • Molecular Test- It helps doctor to figure out type of lymphoma


Although lymphoma is cancer, it is very much treatable and can even be cured. A specialist doctor or Oncologist can help you find the best treatment for the type of cancer problem.

The most common treatments used for non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma are:

Chemotherapy- Various drugs are used to kill cancer cells.
Radiation therapy- High-intensity rays are used to destroy cancer cells.
Immunotherapy- Body’s own immune system is used to attack Non-Hodgkin’s cancer cells.
Stem cell transplant- If all above treatments fail then a stem cell transplant may be performed. Before stem cell transplant, chemotherapy of very high doses is performed that kills both cancer cells and stem cells in bone marrow. Therefore, stem cells transplant helps to replace the destroyed one.

Usually, two types of stem cell transplants are performed:

  • Autologous transplant- It uses body’s own stem cells.
  • Allogeneic transplant- It uses stem cells received from a donor.

Lymphoma treatment can bring various side effects. So, always be in regular touch with your Oncologist or medical team to know about various ways to overcome all symptoms. Also, discuss your diet plan, exercises, or other alternative therapies that will help you cope up the ill effects of cancer treatment.