Lymphomas generally appear as a swell of one or more lymph nodes on a specific location, sometimes widely spread. Liver and spleen might increase in size as well, but this doesn’t usually happen in conjunction with lymph nodes swelling. As the disease advances, many symptoms develop which are closely linked to a specific affected area along with general symptoms and signs of disease which include high temperature, night sweating, and exhaustion, loss of appetite and loss of weight along with itchiness all over the body. Due to the affection of bone marrow, blood disorders may occur as well. These manifest themselves as a reduced number of red blood cells, a reduced number of white blood cells, as well as thrombocytes, inflammations, bleeding and anemia. Indolent lymphoma tends to advance slowly, often with no obvious symptoms. Because of this they usually stay hidden until they reach an advanced stage; in other words, this condition is difficult to diagnose until it’s already wide spread.
Most patients experience the presence of enlarged and painless lymph nodes. Before establishing a diagnosis for lymphoma, it’s necessary to eliminate any presence of bacterial, virus or parasitic infection. Every node which has been enlarged for more than 6 weeks and larger than 1 centimeter in diameter needs to be considered as a threat. A sample of its cell can easily be extracted for further testing and analysis. Patients may complain about presence of general symptoms including respiratory problems, digestive problems etc. Also, many patients experience pressure in their lungs as well as an irritable cough. If there is a mass of tumor cells developing in the abdomen, symptoms become localized and express pain in the belly, feeling of fullness etc.
Besides diagnosis which is based on lymphoma symptoms in women especially, treating of the disease is another difficult and complex task to behold. Most important factors which can specify the type of treatment for lymphoma include stage of the illness, type of tumor (cellular), affection of any other organs besides lymph nodes, the overall health condition of the patient and the presence of symptoms. There are four stages to differ, where stages I and II represent a localized disease, whereas III and IV represent an advanced stage of the disease.
Indolent lymphomas are especially difficult for treatment. Even though these do respond well to therapy, these responses are usually very short in terms of longevity. Because of the indolent progress (slow growth), treatment is usually postponed until first symptoms appear, or the progress doesn’t become more aggressive, which is a so called “watch and wait” approach. If these lymphomas are not treated, they can spread very easily and soon end up with fatal consequences. This can take between six months and three years.
Generally speaking, treatment approach for treating aggressive forms of lymphoma is to completely heal it, while for the indolent ones the approach goes in the direction of postponing and eliminating the remission of the disease.