Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a type of cancer which affects lymphocytes; these are white blood cells that play a key role in the immune defence system of humans and other vertebrae animals. Lymphoblastic lymphoma primarily affects T-cells (which, along with B- and Natural Killer-cells are a type of lymphocyte) though will occasionally be found in B-cells. It is only very rarely found in adults, and is much more likely to be found in teenagers, children and young adults under the age of 35.
Causes of Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
Unfortunately, no one has as of yet been able to determine the root cause of lymphoblastic lymphoma. Doing so might make the disease preventable, but as of yet there are no clear leads, which is yet another reason why research into cancer is one of the most important fields of medicine at the moment. What has been confirmed, however, is that lymphoblastic lymphoma is not in any way contagious and cannot spread from one person to another, making it perfectly safe to be around those who suffer from the disease.
While there are many (over 70) identified forms of lymphoma cancer, most of them present similar symptoms; as such, there is no specific sign of lymphoblastic lymphoma that can be used to identify the cancer, meaning that the only way to establish a diagnosis is through the biopsy of an affected lymph node. For obvious reasons, this can only be done by a trained medical professional and there are no home tests available.
General symptoms of lymphoma have been established, however, most important of which is the swelling of lymph nodes in the groin, armpit or neck area. This is usually painless, and as such may not initially cause alarm. If you notice that your lymph nodes have swollen, however, you are recommended to consult a doctor. This swelling may also be accompanied by what is referred to as b-symptoms, which are symptoms that have been found in many patients who have been diagnosed with the disease, but may also be linked to a wide range of other ailments. These include:
- A prolonged lack of energy
- The loss of appetite
- Difficulty in swallowing (due to swollen lymph nodes in the neck)
- Unexplained raised temperature (fever)
- Heavy sweating during the night when sleeping
It is always recommended that you consult a medical professional if you have reason to believe that you may suffer from lymphoblastic lymphoma – or any other illness – but please note that self-diagnosis will nearly always be incorrect, and are not in and of itself cause for extreme concern.
The treatment of lymphoblastic lymphoma is the same as that of any other form of lymphoma; chemotherapy. In rare cases lymphoblastic lymphoma may also be treated through radiotherapy and/or stem cell transplants or steroid therapy, but these are far less common and only used in very specific cases. Only the doctor in charge of your case will be able to consult you with regard to the type of treatment which will be needed and most effective in your particular case.