Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) which is also referred to as the lymphatic system is a type of cancer that affects the body’s lymph system, which is part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system. In Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma the lymphocytes (white blood cells) grow abnormally and can form growths (tumors) throughout the body. Generally, the lymphocytes have a pre-decided life span, the old lymphocytes die and new ones are born. However, in this type of cancer, the lymphocytes multiply abnormally and the old ones do not die. Slowly a large number of lymphocytes get gathered in the lymph nodes and due to this crowding, the lymph nodes get swollen. Generally, the swollen lymph nodes are not dangerous but when a person is infected by Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma it can spread to other organs and prove to be fatal.
This type of cancer is a general category of Lymphoma. The doctors divide Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma into types based on the kind of lymphocytes each one starts in. That is B – cell lymphomas (it grows in B lymphocytes which make proteins called antibodies that help the body find and attack bacteria) and T – cell lymphomas (it grows in T lymphocytes, the cells that seek and destroy germs). Fortunately, cancer treatment in India has helped improve the prognosis for people with this disease.
What are the symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
The signs and symptoms may include:
- A person will experience swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin.
- Abdominal pain and swelling is also common sign found in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
- Chest pain, coughing, and trouble in breathing will be frequently experienced by patients with this disease.
- In Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma a patient also experiences bone pain and itchiness in the chest.
- A person will also experience sudden weight loss.
If you see this type of symptoms persistently then make an appointment with the best oncologist in India and get yourself diagnosed as soon as possible.
How is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosed?
There are many ways in which Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is diagnosed. When a patient has his first appointment with the doctor, the doctor will want to learn about your family history and will prescribe a few tests that patients will have to undergo to be diagnosed. Here are the few ways the doctor generally tests the patient before concluding:
- Physical examination by the physician: In the physical examination the doctor checks the swollen nodes that might be already present in your body as the symptom.
- Urine or Blood test: After the physical examination the doctor may recommend a urine or blood test to check if the patient has caught some infection or if the patient has some other disease.
- Imaging tests: Tests like X-ray, CT scan, and MRI to check if there is any tumor in the body. The imaging tests cannot be eliminated to check the site of a tumor in the patient’s body.
- Lymph Node test: It is a procedure in which a lymph node tissue or part of the lymph node is taken for testing. These tissues are taken in the lab where the test results reveal if the patient has Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma or not. And if yes, then which type it is.
- Bone Marrow test: In this type of test, a needle is inserted through a hip bone to take a sample of the bone marrow. The sample is taken to analyze if there are any Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cells in the marrow.
How can Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma be treated?
More than anything, a patient is curious and anxious to get an answer for this question, ‘How is this disease treated, and will it be painful’? The lymphoma cancer specialist in India will have types of treatment to explain and will also help you consider all treatment options, they are:
- Chemotherapy: In this treatment, the drugs are given to the patient orally or injected into the veins. These drugs target the cancer cells and destroy them. Thus the clots formed are eased. Chemotherapy can be combined with many drugs and can also be merged with other treatments.
- Radiation therapy: The tumors or cancer cells are targeted with strong beams in radiation therapy. The radiation is directed towards the lymph nodes and also the area surrounding them. This therapy is done before the surgery to shrink the tumor or after the surgery to help keep cancer from coming back. There can be several side effects of this therapy like red rashes on the area of skin that has been exposed to radiation, fatigue in a patient, and hormonal imbalance in patients after this treatment. These side effects can be easily managed by experienced radiologists in India.
- Bone Marrow Transplant: High levels of drugs and radiations are used to suppress the bone marrow, thus destroying the bone marrow and cancer cells. Then the next step is to place a healthy bone marrow which can be the patient’s bone marrow sample or someone else’s. The healthy bone marrow introduced will help the patient to recover from the disease.
- Other drug therapy: Apart from chemotherapy there are several other drug therapies done for lymphoma treatment in India like the drug rituximab used to cure Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. As we discussed that B cells (a type of lymphocyte) cause Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, the drug rituximab is used to destroy the cancerous B type cells.
The Bottom Line:
We are aware that India has been acknowledged as one of the finest countries in providing the best health services. Fortunately, there are many medical tourism companies in India like Vanya Health who have made it easy for people from various countries to get benefitted from pocket-friendly and quality packages of India’s medical service. Now, you can easily get treated in India for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.