T-cell lymphoma Symptoms
T-cell lymphoma Symptoms depend on the organ affected by the tumor as well as the health status of the patient. The vast majority oflymphomas develop in the lymph nodes and possibly in other organs.However, there are certain types of the cancer that only arises from organs: digestive system, skin, testis, brain, and others.
But among the most common T-cell lymphoma Symptoms include enlarged or swollen lymph nodes/glands (lymphadenopathy), and abnormal enlargement of the liver and spleen(hepatosplenomegaly) which can lead to:
- High fever or chills
- Night sweats and itchiness
- Painless abdominal mass
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Belching and hiccupping
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- Loose and presence of excess fatin feces (fatty stools)
- Severe abdominal pain (sign of complication)
- Inability to digest certain or large amounts of food
- Confusion or loss of consciousness (sign of complication)
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).
T-cell lymphoma Diagnosis
First, the health care provider will perform a physical exam. During the examination, the patient may present signs which indicate the presence of the tumor in the appearance of his skin and/or bones,which corresponds to high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) and high levels lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), an enzyme found in body tissues. Usually, high levels of LDH are associated with liver disease, heart attack, anemia, muscle trauma, bone fractures, cancers, or certain infections (meningitis, encephalitis, and HIV).
The diagnosis of T cell lymphoma in adults is performed and confirmed based on a lymph nodebiopsy. A sample is taken from a lymph node which is then examined under a microscope to search for presence of cancer cells. The diagnosis may further include x-rays, bone marrow biopsy, and CT scans. Blood tests are also performed to look for the presence of HTLV-1 virus.
T-cell lymphoma Treatment
T-cell lymphoma Treatment depends mostly on the characteristic of the cancer and the general health status of the patient. But the treatment usually combines chemotherapy, antiretroviral drugs and biologics, and stem cell. After the therapy, some patients may cure from the tumor or live for a long time with the cancer.
Watchful Waiting (WAW) – Patient with latent form of T-cell lymphoma do not need to be majorly treated right away if they have no symptoms or problems (asymptomatic T-cell lymphoma). Healthy diet and lifestyle can help the patient keep the disease under control. Major treatment can be considered only when the cancer causes symptoms or life-threatening changes.
Chemotherapy – People with acute or advanced T-cell lymphoma are often recommended to undergo chemotherapy by their oncologist or health care provider. In this case, association ofchemotherapy agents can be used to treat the cancer. CHOP chemotherapy regimen is the most commonly administered to treat T-cell lymphoma.
CHOP stands for cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox), doxorubicin (Adriamycin), vincristine(Oncovin) and prednisone (Deltasone). T-cell lymphoma may not respond well to conventionalchemotherapy in some patients. When this occurs, more intensive chemotherapy combinations are considered. These drugs can cause adverse reactions. For information, please visit chemotherapy side effects.
Antiretroviral Drugs and Biologics – this group of medications may be used with other medicines to treat T-cell lymphoma. They are mostly recommended when the oncologist suspects that viral infection can be the cause of the cancer. Zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT), an antiretroviral drug that can treat HIV infection, along with biological drugs such as alpha interferon (Intron A, Wellferon) can be prescribed to the patient. In addition, these drugs are proven to be effective in patients who do not respond to chemotherapy.
Bone Marrow Transplant – also known as stem cell transplant (SCT), this therapeutic procedure consists of replacing diseased bone marrow by healthy stem cells to develop into healthy bone marrow. Certain people with T-cell lymphoma, particularly those who do not respond to cancerchemotherapy, can profit from allograft bone marrow transplant.