Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymph system. This system includes those organs and tissues of the body that host the white blood cells, which are primarily responsible for fighting infections. This cancer type can be categorized into two types – Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The difference between these two lies in the manner in which the cancer spreads in the lymphatic system. If it spreads in an orderly fashion, it is termed as Hodgkin lymphoma, and if it spreads in a disorderly fashion, it is termed as Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Depending on the type of lymphoma you have been diagnosed with, the oncologist will suggest the best treatment options for the different treatment options for lymphoma.
- Watchful waiting or active surveillance
Some people often showcase a form of indolent lymphoma, a type of cancer that is slow-growing and slow-spreading. Due to the fact that this type has fewer symptoms, the patient will not require treatment immediately. Therefore, instead of starting treatment, the doctor might choose to monitor the patient regularly by conducting tests like CT scans, blood tests, physical examinations, etc. This monitoring period is known as watchful waiting or active surveillance. Treatment will only begin once the symptoms become more severe, or the tests reveal the spread of cancer cells.
This is one of the common treatment options for lymphoma, where medicines aimed at killing the cancer cells are either administered to the patient orally or injected directly into the bloodstream through the veins. This is the main treatment option for patients suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation is another one of the common types of treatment options for lymphoma. Here, high-energy X-ray beams or other particles are used to kill the cancerous cells. In the case of Hodgkin lymphoma, the radiation is administered externally and generally, and only to the affected part directly, to ensure that no healthy tissues are damaged.
This therapy uses materials made within the body or lab to help boost the immune system of the patient. This is to strengthen the patient by improving the immune system’s ability to fight or kill the cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy
As the name suggests, this type of treatment is where the cancer cells are directly targeted to stop their growth and spread. This is done while making sure that the healthy cells are unharmed.
- Bone Marrow Transplantation
Also known as stem cell transplantation, this is a medical procedure where healthy bone marrow cells are transplanted into the patient from a donor to rebuild and strengthen the patient’s bone marrow.
All in all, the most effective treatment options for lymphoma are those that destroy cancer cells and prevent a recurrence. And the option is determined based on the type of lymphatic cancer, the stage of cancer, age of the patient, patient’s health status, and also, the patient’s preferences.