Lymphoma is a malignant condition of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system comprises of the lymph nodes, the thymus, spleen and bone marrow.
The chief categories of lymphoma are:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
The treatment regimen depends upon the lymphoma type, the stage and your preferences. Treatment includes – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biological therapy medications, or a stem cell transplant.
Causes Of Stage 4 Lymphoma
In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the cells in your lymphatic system proliferate autonomously and anomalously and extend beyond the lymphatic system. With a progression in the cancer, the body’s capacity to battle infections gets drastically compromised.
Newer developments in diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma have helped in making a prompt diagnosis and enhancing the chance for complete recovery.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is commoner than Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the tumors develop from lymphocytes. Various sub-types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma exist – the commonest being diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.
Signs And Symptoms Of Stage 4 Lymphoma
Hodgkin’s lymphoma signs and symptoms are:
- Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the axilla, neck or groin.
- Fever and chills
- Night sweats
- Inexplicable loss of weight
- Appetite loss
- A heightened sensitivity to alcohol or pain in lymph nodes after consuming alcohol.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma signs and symptoms are:
- Painless, swelling of the lymph nodes in the axilla, neck or groin.
- Pain and swelling in the abdomen.
- Coughing, chest pain and breathing difficulty.
- Night sweats
- Unexplained loss of weight
Treatment Regimen For Stage Iv Lymphoma
The treatment regimen for stage 4 lymphoma is based upon the type of malignancy, your age, and your general health status.
- Chemotherapy: Drugs are administered orally or intravenously, and these kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs may be administered singly, in combination with other chemotherapy drugs or in conjunct with other treatments.
- Radiation therapy: Uses high-powered energy beams to annihilate the malignant cells and shrink the tumor masses.
- Stem cell transplant: Stem cell transplant makes use of very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation with the chief aim of killing the lymphoma cells that may not be killed with standard doses. Later on, healthy stem cells which may be your own or from a donor are introduced into your body, where they help form new healthy blood cells.
- Drugs which enhance the immune system’s capacity to battle cancer: Biological therapy drugs are used in most cases; these help the body’s immune mechanism to fight off the cancer. These medications / drugs make the cancer cells more visible to the immune system, which can then attack and annihilate them.
- Radio-immuno-therapy: This technique use medications which deliver radiation directly to the malignant cells: the radio-immunotherapy drugs are made of monoclonal antibodies which hold radioactive isotopes. This helps the antibody to fasten to the malignant cells and convey the radiation directly to the cells.
Confer with your health care provider and understand which treatment option is most suitable and appropriate for you.
Survival Rate of Stage IV Lymphoma
Reports look encouraging for people with Stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma. The American Cancer Society states that the five-year survival rate is 65 %. The survival rate for Stage IV non Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends upon various factors, such as: the type of malignancy and its spread.