Overview of Lymphomas

Our lymphatic system is responsible for getting rid of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials from the body. The lymphatic system includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow. It distributes lymph, a fluid containing white blood cells throughout the body.

Lymphomas ( لَمفاوی رَسولی ) is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It is a type of blood cancer that develops in the lymphocytes which travel to the lymphatic system.  

The abnormal lymphocytes build up in the lymphatic system such as in the lymph nodes in the armpits, neck, or groin. There are more than 60 different types of lymphomas. 


Prevalence of Lymphomas

It is the 5th most commonly occurring cancer in the UK. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the 1oth most common cancer in men and the 12th in women with more than 200,000 deaths worldwide each year.

The prevalence of Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Pakistan is 4.9 and 4.7 percent respectively.

The 5-year survival rate in the early stages is 92 percent. If the cancer is spread regionally this rate falls to 94 percent and in the case of metastasis, the rate falls to 78 percent.

Signs and Symptoms of Lymphomas

Signs and symptoms of Lymphomas are termed as ‘B symptoms include:

  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Weight loss (unexplained)
  • Itchy Skin
  • Fatigue (persistent)
  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes
  • Difficulty getting over infections
  • Anemia

Types of Lymphomas

Causes of Lymphomas

This type of cancer like other cancers occurs due to DNA mutations causing the cells to grow out of control. When lymphocytes grow out of control, normal cells could die.


Risk Factors of Lymphomas

Some of the common risk factors for lymphomas include:

  • Medications

Those people who have undergone organ transplants ought to take special medicines after such treatments. These medications may put a person at an increased risk of this disease.

  • Viral and Bacterial Infections

Various viral and bacterial infections can make a person more vulnerable to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. HIV is a classic example of a viral infection. On the other hand, bacterial infections are also equally responsible for the onset of this disease.

  • Chemical Contamination

Pesticides and other chemicals which are mainly used to kill insects and weeds can be the cause of this cancerous disease. But the research on this prospect is currently limited.

  • Age

Older age may be another risk factor for this disease. Although this disease can occur at any age. People who are above 60 years of age are more likely to develop this disease.

  • Celiac Disease

People who are suffering from celiac disease have a large risk of developing this disease.

  • Family History

This is not an infectious disease. But people who have had a family history of lymphatic cancer are highly prone to such mutations.

Complications of Lymphomas

People who have recovered from this disease may suffer from the long-term effects. Major complications of this disease are as follows:

  • Weak Immune System

One of the most common complications is a weak immune system. Mostly the immune system recovers within months and years of the treatment. In case of an improperly working immune system, the person is more susceptible to foreign invasions. Some of the common symptoms of infections are:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Body sore
  4. Diarrhoea
  5. Fatigue
  6. Rashes

Risk of Infertility

The common treatments for this disease are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Most of the time it is temporary but it can also be permanent.

  • Cancers

If a person has this disease then the chances of the person acquiring secondary cancers are also highly significant.
Furthermore, the treatment of cancer also increases the chance of getting another cancer. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy release radiation that affects the cells. This radiation exposure can then lead to the onset of mutation.

  • Cardiac Issues

A poor lymphatic system is not able to cope up with bacterial intrusion and is at great risk of infections. That is why people who have had this disease are prone to develop cancerous mutations in their lymph nodes.



It is a disease that majorly occurs due to genetic mutations. Thus, there is no exact way to prevent it. Because there is no definite cause for a person to acquire this disease hence there is no exact way to prevent it. Still, there are some measures that a person can take to lower the overall risk.

  • Avoid Risk Factors for HIV

 If a person is suffering from an HIV infection then he or she is at a greater risk for developing these diseases. So a person should avoid contracting an HIV infection.

  • Obesity

Being overweight is the main cause of a number of chronic diseases. Obesity can cause higher chances of getting NHL. Thus, make sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of this disease.

  • Avoid Radiation Exposure

Radiations are highly toxic for cells. These rays can disrupt the cellular ability of cells and can change their genetic structure. This toxic exposure can lead to the onset of this disease in the lymphatic system. Therefore, make sure to avoid radiation exposures.



A diagnosis is given by:

Treatment of Lymphomas | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment for Lymphomas depends on the location, type, and severity of the cancer. Treatment options are as follows:

  1. Watchful Waiting

In the case of very early stages, treatment may not be required. In this situation, the patient is monitored over the months or years, and the progressiveness of lymphoma is checked. 

  1. Chemotherapy

Drugs are administered to kill cancer cells. It is the most painful treatment with aftereffects. 

  1. Radiation Therapy

High radiation beams are directed at the cancer cells. This therapy is used at a later stage of cancer and when surgery is not possible.

  1. Antibody Therapy

This includes administering specifically designed antibodies to target the cancer cells. It is also known as immunotherapy.

  1. Stem Cell Transplant

This involves administering high doses of radiation and chemo to suppress the affected bone marrow. Stem cells of the healthy bone marrow are then infused into the blood to rebuild the damaged bone marrow.

  1. Other Treatments

Other treatments include targeted therapy, the use of steroids, and a specialized treatment known as CAR-T cell therapy.  

Any cancer diagnosis is concerning and overwhelming. It is good to cope with the stress by learning more about lymphomas and the treatment from an Oncologist you can receive.