Lymphoma of the Liver
Lymphoma of the Liver
The signs and symptoms of hepatic lymphoma often depend on if it is primary or secondary. Secondary hepatic lymphoma, which is the most common, often has symptoms that relate to the parts from whence it started and continued to spread till it got to the liver.
But in general, the symptoms and signs may include:
- Abdominal pains
- Liver enlargement due to the masses of cancerous lumps in the liver.
- Excessive night sweats
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Low blood pressure
- The frequent occurrence of infections
- If it results in liver failure, easy bruising, and bleeding.
It is generally known that the mutation of infection-fighting lymphocytes of the white blood cells, making them grow rapidly and out of control, forming malignant lumps is what leads to lymphoma. Yet, it is not particularly known what causes the sudden change of these cells.
However, we can relate this condition to certain risk factors–factors that are prone to developing the condition.
More about Treatment
Hepatic Lymphoma", it is the type of lymphatic cancer that originates or spreads into the liver. Some factors can cause the start of this condition. The treatment varies according to the type and stages of the lymphoma.
The term "lymphoma" is a cancerous lump that begins in the infection-fighting cells of the immune system referred to as the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are the main white blood cells contained in the lymph, that is; the fluid of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists of the lymph nodes/glands, the spleen, the thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body.
With lymphoma, your lymphocytes which are your infection-fighting white blood cells, begin to change the form, grow malignant and out of control, and can spread to other parts of your body and organs.
Lymphoma is popular with two main types:
- Hodgkin lymphoma, which is rare.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the common type. This type also mostly consist of; B-cells lymphoma and T-cells lymphoma
Both affect different types of cells, grow at different rates, and respond to treatment differently.
Since lymphoma affects white blood cells, it can start in any part of the body and if not treated on time, can spread to other parts. Treatments, however, vary depending on the type of lymphoma and the stage of the sickness.
What is Lymphoma of the Liver?
Lymphoma of the liver also called "Hepatic Lymphoma", is the type of lymphatic cancer that originates or spreads into the liver. However, this condition is rare and mostly occurs in elderly men and women.
Types of Lymphoma of the Liver
Hepatic lymphoma is often classified according to the mode of origination.
- Primary Hepatic Lymphoma
This type of liver lymphoma originates in the liver and then can spread into other parts of the body and organs. However, this type rarely occurs.
- Secondary Hepatic Lymphoma
This type of liver lymphoma is more common, starting from other parts of the body or organs and spreading into the liver. Lymphoma of the liver can either be Hodgkin's or Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or B-cells or T-cells lymphoma. This will be determined by your doctor as all of these types may have similar symptoms but need different approaches in treatment.
Lymphoma of the liver is rare but still, it can affect people of all gender and race. Certain people are prone to be affected by the condition considering the following factors:
- Advanced age; the median age is drawn at 50 years.
- Certain genetic disorders like translocation or the juxtaposition of the regions of the chromosomes.
- Family history of immunity diseases, immunodeficiency, or cancer.
- A systematic disease.
- Viral infections such as Hepatitis B or C virus, Epstein-Barr virus, etc
- A weak immune system, immunodeficiency, or autoimmune disorders. Can be a result of HIV/AIDS or organ transplants.
- Certain drugs or medications.
- Exposure to industrial chemicals and radiation.
- Constant exposure to X-rays and CT scans can lead to this condition due to their radiation.
- People with professions that are mostly exposed to chemicals and radiation.
- People who have already had lymphoma or any other blood-related cancers which are in remission can have a recurrence.
Complications that are likely to arise from hepatic lymphoma include:
- For the primary condition; systematic involvement of other parts of the body and organs which can lead to loss of function of those areas.
- Acute or complete liver failure.
- Deteriorating immune system.
- More aggressive and fast-spreading lymphoma, if not treated on time.
An early visit to your doctor once you have started feeling the signs is advisable because the late diagnosis can mean the discovery of the lymphoma at an advanced stage, which will make treatments more painstaking and tedious and with a reduced rate of remission.
Your doctor will first go through your medical and family history to know if there's a risk factor present. On determining this aspect, he will go further to perform a physical examination, which can include feeling your liver and other parts of your body for signs.
Physical examinations do not fully make for diagnosis, so your doctor will have to run further tests to ascertain if it is truly the condition. There are several diagnostic tests, but popular ones include:
- Radiology imaging: MRI, CT scan, X-ray
- Blood tests: complete blood count (CBC), liver function blood test(LFT), absolute lymphocyte count, viral infection tests.
- Biopsy: liver tissue biopsy, core or open biopsy of the liver, bone marrow aspiration/biopsy.
- Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH): to detect genetic disorders by checking chromosome changes in the bone marrow or blood cells.
Treatments of lymphomas often depend on the stage of advancement of the condition. They go from mild to aggressive and are labeled stage 1 to stage 4. As these stages progress, the stronger the treatment and the lesser the rate of the condition going into remission. Therefore, treating every lymphoma must be done as early as possible before it advances further.
Your doctor will take a look at your condition and decide on which treatment is best suitable for you. The common treatments include:
- Chemotherapy, which can be administered by pills, liquids, injection shots, or intravenously.
- Radiation therapy by using high radiation waves to kill the cancerous cells and their DNA.
- Surgery by removing the cancerous tumors/lumps from the liver.
- Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation when the lymphoma is not responsive to treatment or the chance of recurrence is high.
In recent times, there are still targeted therapies and newer treatment options. Some of these options are developed to selectively kill the cancer cells but are in clinical trials. They can be suggested by your doctor for your consideration.
Supportive treatments such as blood transfusion, antibiotics, steroids, anti-nausea medications can be used in combination with the treatments to aid them and combat the symptoms of the condition.
The earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the faster the recovery. The rate of recovery can not be determined as different people with different body types have their rate of recovering from lymphoma. It can take months for it to go into remission depending on the type of treatment used.
Lymphoma is never cured, but rather, goes in remission and can reoccur, so it is important to take certain precautions to prevent the condition from occurring. They include:
- Avoid exposure to industrial chemicals that can increase the risk.
- Use protective gear when coming in contact with radiations.
- Take early treatments for autoimmune diseases and viral infections.
- Quit smoking
- Keep a healthy diet.
- What is the difference between lymphoma and leukaemia?
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the infection-fighting lymphocytes of the white blood cells, while Leukemia is cancer that begins in the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow.
- What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema has nothing to do with lymphoma. It is the collection of fluid that forms in body tissues which occur when there is damage or blockage in the lymph system.
- What foods should you avoid if you have lymphoma?
Avoid taking unpasteurized milk, cheese, juices, meat, or eggs. Make sure to cook all raw meat, eggs, and vegetables before eating. Avoid thawing frozen items, like water, ice cream, yoghurt.
- What is the most aggressive form of lymphoma?
The most aggressive form of lymphoma is the less common type of B-cell lymphoma called the Burkitt lymphoma. This lymphoma is the fastest-growing of all lymphoma.
- What is the prognosis for lymphoma?
The survival rate of people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma is measured at 5 years, considering that 72% of people with NHL live within this rate. But survival rate can vary depending on the types and stages of the lymphoma
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