About Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes, which are infection-fighting cells of the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of organs all over the body that make and store cells that fight infection.

When people have lymphoma, their lymphocytes become abnormal and grow out of control. These cells can then travel to different parts of the body. Often, the abnormal cells collect in small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes. This causes the lymph nodes to swell.

There are different types of lymphoma. Some types grow very slowly. Other types grow much faster. Sometimes, people start out with a slow-growing type of lymphoma that later becomes fast-growing.

Clinical Presentation

The first sign of lymphoma is often one or more large, swollen lymph nodes. These swollen lymph nodes can be felt under the skin, but are usually not painful. They are often in the neck, groin, armpit, or stomach.

Lymph nodes deeper in the body can also become swollen and cause symptoms. For example, swollen lymph nodes around the lungs can cause a cough or trouble breathing.

Other symptoms of lymphoma include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats that soak your clothes

All of these symptoms can also be caused by conditions that are not lymphoma. But if you have these symptoms, you should let a doctor or nurse know.


A doctor or nurse will do an exam and ask about symptoms. He or she might order other tests, including:

  • Lymph node biopsy – A doctor will remove all or part of the swollen lymph node. Then another doctor will look at cells under a microscope to see if lymphoma is present.
  • Bone marrow biopsy – A small sample of bone marrow, which is the spongy tissue in the center of some bones, will be removed with a needle and examined under a microscope to see if it has lymphoma.
  • Other biopsy – In some cases, a small sample of other abnormal tissues will be removed to check for lymphoma.
  • CT scan, PET scan, or other imaging tests – These tests create pictures of the inside of your body and can show abnormal growths.

Conventional Treatments

People with lymphoma often have one or more of the following treatments:

  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the medical term for medicines that kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.
  • Immunotherapy – These are medicines that kill cancer cells by attacking the lymphoma cells.
  • Radiation therapy – Radiation kills cancer cells.
  • Bone marrow transplant (also called “stem cell transplant”) – This treatment replaces cells in the bone marrow that are killed by chemotherapy or radiation.

Alternative Lymphoma Treatments


Selenium prevents lymphoma cell proliferation, causes lymphoma cell death, and selectively sensitizes lymphoma cells to the antitumor effects of chemotherapy. Hodgkin lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia patients with low serum selenium had poorer response to anticancer treatment. Furthermore, low selenium levels were linked to a poorer survival in follicular lymphoma patients and a tendency toward a poorer overall survival in acute myeloid leukemia patients


Laboratory studies have found that curcumin is able to kill human lymphoma cells. In NHL, curcumin enhanced lymphoma cell response to radiation therapy. . Laboratory studies show that curcumin is incorporated into Reed-Sternberg cells and then inhibits both NF-κB and STAT3 activation, leading to lymphoma cell death and a significant 80-97% reduction in Reed-Sternberg cell viability


The effect of mistletoe on cancer patient survival time was reviewed in a 2012 study. Four studies on mistletoe preparations and patient survival revealed a overall positive effect in favor of mistletoe treatment. A comprehensive review of evidence published in 2008 reports that of 16 trials investigating the efficacy of mistletoe extracts for either improving quality of life, psychological measures, performance index, symptom scales or the reduction of adverse effects of chemotherapy, 14 showed some evidence of a benefit. Mistletoe extracts are usually well tolerated and have few side effects.


Different studies suggest that hyperthermia increases the sensitivity of lymphoma cells to platinum drugs and natural cytotoxic agents starting at 42 C.

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