About this disease
What it is about
Lymphomas originate in the lymphatic system, i.e. in specialized white blood cells (lymphocytes) that are part of our immune system. Lymphocytes are found mainly in the blood, lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow, but occasionally in other organs of the human body. In all these organs the disease can show itself. For example, by the enlargement of lymph nodes and spleen or by the suppression of normal blood formation.
A distinction is made between slow-growing (indolent) and rapidly growing (aggressive) lymphomas. In some cases, indolent lymphomas can be closely monitored for years without the need for therapy. Examples of indolent lymphomas include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, marginal zone lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma. Aggressive lymphomas require rapid therapy, examples are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or Burkitt's lymphoma.
Symptoms and consequences
Since there are very different types of lymphoma with very different behavior, the symptoms can also be markedly different. The extent and stage of the disease also influence the symptoms. Very often there are enlarged lymph nodes, which can sometimes be felt. Often, the affected persons are tired, have reduced performance, sweat a lot and lose weight unintentionally. There may also be anemia, frequent infections or bleeding signs.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
First of all, the exact type of lymphoma must be determined. For this purpose, the affected tissue is removed and examined. For example, a conspicuously enlarged lymph node must be removed. Sometimes the material for analysis can also be obtained by bone marrow puncture.
As different as the lymphomas are, so different can be the therapies. For some indolent lymphomas, no therapy is necessary and it is sufficient to monitor the disease closely over many years. If therapy is necessary, a decision must be made depending on the type and extent of the lymphoma. Treatment options range from radiation, immunotherapies, chemotherapy or targeted therapies to stem cell transplantation.