Sep 14, 2020
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Breakdown of immunity. What is lymphoma and how to recognize it in time?

There are a huge number of different names for diseases. However, not everyone understands them thoroughly. So, for example, there is such a pathology as lymphoma. It is not obvious to everyone that this disease is from the oncological profile - this can be judged from search queries. In fact, this pathology is extremely dangerous.

What is it?

Lymph is a heterogeneous group of cancers of the lymphatic tissue. With it, there is an increase in lymph nodes and damage to internal organs, where there is an accumulation of tumor lymphocytes that cannot be controlled.

By themselves, lymphocytes are blood cells, which in fact are the main components of immunity. When there is a diagnosis of lymphoma, it means that due to the division of tumor lymphocytes, their derivatives settle in the lymph nodes and also move to the organs, disrupting their work. In fact, lymphomas are called a fairly large number of different types of pathology, which at the same time may differ in manifestations, as well as types of treatment.

Lymphomas are divided into two large groups:

  • Lymphogranulomatosis, aka Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The second type is a very wide group of lymphomas. These are found in all age groups, but at the same time, their high prevalence is noted in the older age category - in people over 60 years old, men, according to statistics, face it more often: 2-7 cases per 1000 people versus 1-5 cases per 100,000 cases.

Some types of such lymphomas can be slow and have a favorable course. In this case, we speak about indolent species. There are also those options that proceed very quickly, have many different symptoms and require immediate treatment. They are called aggressive. The classic variant of lymphoma - in this case, everything is accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes. There are also options in which the lymph nodes do not increase at all, while the disease itself begins to develop in different organs - the spleen, lungs, brain, etc.

The prerequisites for the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas include the following factors: various infections (for example, there are cases when the development of lymphoma was triggered by a Helicobacter infection), immune problems, concomitant diseases (a problem often occurs in people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, etc.), exposure to toxins.

Hodgkin's lymphoma, which stands alone, is a pathology when everything starts with a primary lesion of the lymph nodes. Moreover, in this case, characteristic cells are noted in the lymph nodes - Berezovsky-Sternberg. These are giant multinucleated cells arising from B-lymphocytes, where mutations have occurred, but at the same time which have been able to escape immunological control.

The disease is considered two-peak - the first is among young people (15-30 years old), the second refers to the elderly. This pathology begins with an increase in various lymph nodes - axillary, inguinal, cervical, etc.

Disease stages

Like any other oncology, lymphoma goes through 4 stages of its development. The first is initial. Here we are talking about the defeat of one lymph node in one area. They say about the same stage when the tumor affects one organ without affecting the lymph nodes.

At the second stage, two or more lymph nodes located on one side of the diaphragms are affected. Here the clinical picture of the disease begins to appear.

At the third stage, the oncological process is characterized by two or more nodes on both sides of the diaphragm. Also, this diagnosis is about the defeat of the lymph nodes and the defeat of one organ. The symptomatology is pronounced here.

The fourth stage is a condition when tumor cells have spread throughout the body. A severe development of a situation is a process when organs that are far from the initial focus of tumor development are affected.

How to recognize

One of the first signs that appears quite often is swollen lymph nodes. Doctors are alarmed primarily by the cervical, axillary and inguinal. At the same time, they can be distinguished from those enlarged due to ARVI - in such a situation, the nodes are painless, they do not decrease in size over time, even when using special treatment, including antibacterial therapy.

If internal organs are affected, there may be a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, breathing problems, a feeling of bursting pain in the lower back, pressure in the face or neck.

In addition, among the signs of the development of lymphoma are called weakness, fever, sweating. Unjustified weight loss is also noted, and digestive problems begin to torment a person.

How is it determined and treated

Diagnosis of such a disease is the prerogative of doctors. Traditionally, it is required to see an oncologist and a hematologist. There are several diagnostic options. One of them is laboratory. One of the main tests used to confirm a diagnosis is a microscopic examination of a tissue sample that is obtained through a biopsy. The examining physician must answer two questions. The first is whether the education is an oncological disease. The second is what kind of pathology is in question.

Sometimes bone marrow tests are done. Additional methods help clarify the characteristics of lymphoma. Molecular genetic studies may also be required.

Sometimes radiation diagnostics are used for diagnostics - X-ray, CT, MRI. All this contributes to the determination of characteristic changes in internal organs in different parts of the body. This helps to complement the visual inspection.

The main treatment options are surgery, as well as subsequent radiation and chemotherapy. Here the doctor makes a decision, based on the condition of the person, the development of the pathological process and other injections.

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