The symptoms of gastrointestinal lymphoma are usually vague, In many cases, there may be no noticeable physical findings upon diagnosis.
Specific symptoms can be very different from one person to another. Abdominal pain or cramping is probably the most common, and maybe one of the first symptoms noted.
Other Symptoms of gastrointestinal lymphoma include:
- epigastric pain,
- early satiety (feeling of stomach fullness after only eating a little food) and
- weight loss.
Bleeding from the stomach may occur in some individuals and can also be the first noticeable sign of primary gastric lymphoma. A mass large enough to be able to be felt when applying pressure to the stomach may also be present in some advanced cases.
The exact cause of gastrointestinal lymphoma is unknown.
- Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue gastric lymphoma is often associated with infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that is found in the stomach and the upper portion of the intestines and is well known for causing ulcers.
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach may arise spontaneously in individuals without a previous history of cancer, or it may occur from the transformation of an indolent mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue gastric lymphoma into the more aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma form.
Some researchers have suggested that Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach may also be associated with Helicobacter pylori infection. Some individuals with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach have been infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium.
More about Treatment
Lymphoma, also known as lymphatic cancer is cancer that begins in lymphocytes and gastrointestinal lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates within the stomach. It can either diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach or mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue gastric lymphoma.
Lymphoma, also known as lymphatic cancer is cancer that begins in lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are the infection-fighting cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body.
Lymphoma causes lymphocytes to change and grow out of control. Lymphoma most often spreads to the liver, bone marrow, or lungs.
What Is Gastrointestinal Lymphoma?
Gastrointestinal lymphoma, also known as "primary gastric lymphoma", is a general term for a type of cancer that originates within the stomach.
The stomach is a very common extranodal site for lymphomas (lymphomas originate elsewhere and metastasize to the stomach). It is also the most common source of lymphomas in the gastrointestinal tract.
Types Of Gastrointestinal Lymphoma
Approximately 90 per cent of patients with primary gastric lymphoma is either mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue gastric lymphoma or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach. Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue gastric lymphoma is often associated with infection caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterium.
Risk factors for gastric lymphoma include the following:
- Helicobacter pylori
- Long-term immunosuppressant drug therapy
- Immunodeficiency such as HIV infection
Primary gastric lymphoma is diagnosed based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, detection of certain symptoms and physical findings, a detailed patient history, and a variety of specialized tests. Gastrointestinal lymphomas are a diverse group of diseases with variable prevalence, which makes diagnosis challenging.
The diagnosis is typically made by biopsy at the time of endoscopy. Several endoscopic findings have been reported, including solitary ulcers, thickened gastric folds, mass lesions, and nodules. As there may be infiltration of the submucosa, larger biopsy forceps, endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy, endoscopic submucosal resection, or laparotomy may be required to obtain tissue.
Imaging investigations including CT scans or endoscopic ultrasound are useful to stage disease.
Specific therapeutic procedures and interventions may vary, depending upon numerous factors, such as disease stage; tumour size; specific lymphoma subtype; the presence or absence of certain symptoms; individual’s age and general health; and/or other elements.
- Antibiotic treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori is indicated as first-line therapy for mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas. Second-line therapy for mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas is usually chemotherapy with a single agent, and complete response rates of greater than 70% have been reported.
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas of the stomach are primarily treated with chemotherapy.
- Subtotal gastrectomy, with postoperative chemotherapy, is undertaken in refractory cases, or the setting of complications, including gastric outlet obstruction.
- Can lymphomas cause digestive problems?
Yes, Lymphoma, and some of the treatments for lymphoma, can cause bowel problems such as diarrhoea, constipation, and flatulence. Although these are usually mild and temporary.
- What are the types of gastrointestinal lymphomas?
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach
- Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue gastric lymphoma
- What are the symptoms of gastrointestinal lymphoma?
Symptoms associated with gastrointestinal lymphoma include abdominal pain and cramps, unexplained weight loss, malabsorption of the food ingested, rectal bleeding, and severe constipation or bowel obstruction.
- Which is worse Hodgkin's lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?
Although Hodgkin lymphoma is less common than Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, it is considered the most treatable cancer. Hodgkin is often diagnosed at an early stage and treated because they begin in the upper body such as the neck, armpit, chest, etc, and is noticeable. However, the NHL starts in the lymph nodes and can not be easily distinguished.
- What is the best treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
In the early stages, when the initial cancer is small, it can be removed with biopsy and no further treatments may be needed. But in the progressive stages, NHL is mostly treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
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