Exact causes of Lymphoma are not known yet. But there are some factors, which could induce or increase risk of developing Lymphoma. Though patients having these risk factors not necessarily develop Lymphoma but are at higher risk of developing this disease compared to people without these risk factors.

Age

Though Lymphoma can develop in anybody, people older than 60 years of age are at higher risk of developing this disease.

Weak immune system

People having weak immune system are prone to catch any infection soon. They are also at higher risk of developing Lymphoma.

Other immune system Infections

People suffering from other immune system infectious diseases such as HIV, AIDS, Epstein-Barr virus, Hepatitis C and Helicobacter pylori, are more likely to develop this disease.

Family history

People with family history of Lymphoma are at increased risk of developing this disease.

Radiation

Exposure to high levels of radiation also increases risk of developing Lymphoma. People, who have been exposed to radiations from nuclear reactor accidents and atomic bombs, are more likely to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Radiation therapy also increases risk of this disease.

Diagnosis of Lymphoma

Lymphoma can be identified with swelling or enlargement of Lymph nodes. But lymph nodes enlargement may also occur due to various reasons. Lymph nodes could swell due to infections, immune diseases such as lupus or sarcoidosis. It could also swell due to allergies or use of some medicines. Other types of cancers such as throat, oral, lung, breast, uterine, ovarian, anal, and rectal cancer could also lead to lymph nodes enlargement if they spread up to the neck. Other important cause of swelling in lymph nodes is Leukemia. Diseases such as storage disease, which affect metabolism, could also lead to swelling in the lymph nodes.

The best way to detect Lymphoma is lymph node biopsy. In this a small amount of tissues are removed from lymph nodes and examined in the lab. This can confirm presence or absence of Lymphoma.

To determine the type of Lymphoma a special test is done during biopsy, known as molecular marker for Lymphoma. After finding out type of Lymphoma tests are done to determine its stage or spread. Following tests are done for determining the stage of Lymphoma.

Imaging tests, such as x-rays or CT scans

Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT scan or MRI also reveal the extent or spread of Lymphoma in the patient’s body.

Gallium scan or PET scan

PET Scan is done to find the spread of Lymphoma in the body. Patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive sugar. Then computerized pictures of the sugar being used by cells in the body, is taken. Faster use of sugar indicates presence of Lymphoma cells. Areas with Lymphoma also look brighter on the picture.

Bone Marrow Test

A small amount of spinal fluid is collected from the spaces between the vertebrae in the spine. Patient is given anaesthesia during this process. This fluid is examined in the lab to diagnose spread of Lymphoma.

Treatment of Lymphoma