Follicular lymphoma is classified as a Non-Hodgkin lymphoma that grows over time and in most cases shows little or no symptoms, even found in its later stages. This sort of lymphoma is the more basic B-cell, or white blood cell, Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The cancer expands in the lymph nodes, and though it will show almost no symptoms in the patient, it has an affect on areas of the body such as the bone marrow, the blood, the liver, the spleen along with organs.
The cancer is named follicular lymphoma since the lymph nodes it affects appear to be as rounded objects, or “follicles” when looking through microscopic lense. It frequently is discovered in people 55 years and older, and it has an effect on women and men equally. The reason for the lymphoma in most cases isn’t really known, nonetheless professionals are examining the impact of a translocation of chromosomes 14 and 18 on the bcl-2 gene.
Normally a patient shows basically no signs that he or she has got follicular lymphoma. When symptoms do occur, they often show up first like a inflammation in the neck, the groin or even the underarm due to enlarged lymph nodes. The bulge often is not really painful. Later symptoms may include a fever, low energy, sweating and unexplained weight-loss.
A lymph node exam can establish if the follicular lymphoma is there. If it is, blood tests, CT scans and bone marrow screening can help determine the lymphoma’s stage and grade. The tests may even pinpoint which organs or groups of lymph nodes are afflicted.
The follicular lymphoma disease is classified as Grade 1, 2, or 3 dependant upon the ratio of centroblasts, or larger cells, to centrocytes, or small cells, located in the lymph nodes. Grade three is further more divided into 3a and 3b, dependant upon whether centrocytes are still existing, or the centroblasts are predominant. In addition, the lymphoma could be classified as Stage I, II, III or IV, indicating how extensively the lymphoma has spread out. Stage I lymphoma is contained to one group of lymph nodes or section of organ tissue. Stage IV lymphoma has extended through several organs, including the liver, the blood and the bone marrow.
Due to the fact follicular lymphoma is such a slow-growing cancer, people with a more advanced stage or grade of the cancer may still need minimum treatment when they have few or no symptoms. Most of the time, carefully tracking the growth of the disease is the ideal option because therapies don’t extend the patient’s life and often will cause side effects. When medication is desired, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are often used with positive results. Monoclonal antibody therapy has recently developed into a treatment option with the release of the FDA-approved drug Rituximab.
Many treatment procedures which are used less often include certain drug therapies and radiotherapy, that uses high-energy rays to eliminate the cancer cells without destroying strong cells. A stem cell transplant is a possible treatment option; even so, a patient’s general health and age ought to be taken into account with regards to this type of treatment.
Roughly 75 percent of patients diagnosed with follicular lymphoma live for about 5 years following treatment. The average period of survival is ten years. Generally patients who’ve been treated for the lymphoma will have sometimes multiple reoccurrences of the disease. Treatment usually successfully eliminates recurring bouts of the cancer, and patients often live years undergoing cycles of treatment and remission.
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