Mantle Cell Lymphoma
Mantle cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Hodgkin's lymphoma is a specific group of lymphoma cancer which is named after the British scientist who first described it in 1832, Thomas Hodgkin. While it is a term which is commonly used when describing and classifying a specific type of lymphoma, the term is very general and often considered very non-descriptive. According to statistics released by Cancer Research UK, Mantle cell lymphoma is very rare and only accounts for about 5% of all diagnosed cases of lymphoma; predominantly affecting men aged 50 and over.
Unfortunately, Mantle cell lymphoma is often left undiagnosed until the later stages of its development, at which stage it will often have spread beyond the originally affected lymph nodes to other lymph nodes as well as organs. It is common for mantle cell lymphoma to spread to bone marrow, and very common indeed for it to spread to the spleen. Moreover, it is an aggressive form of lymphoma which means that even if it has not yet spread when diagnosed, it stands a high risk of doing so very quickly if left untreated.
Most forms of lymphoma, Mantle cell included, are treated by the use of chemotherapy. Unfortunately Mantle cell lymphoma is very difficult indeed to cure completely; though it may be forced into remission through the chemotherapy, it will most commonly return within a comparably short period of time. A second option is to join a clinical trial, which involves the testing of a new possible treatment that has shown potential in animals but needs to be tested on a smaller scale in humans in order to have its efficiency and safety determined. In some cases, such treatments may have unexpected side-effects which could be dangerous, and in some cases the results may be positive by negligible, but in all cases they do further the research on cancer treatment. Your doctor will be able to advise you as with regard to the possibility of joining a clinical trial, and whether or not it is appropriate in your particular case.
Signs of Mantle Cell Lymphoma
Most types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma present very similar signs indeed, and the primary symptom is a swelling of one or several lymph nodes in the groin, armpit or neck. If you notice a swelling of one or several lymph nodes which does not disappear within 1-1½ months you should seek medical council. There are also a host of b-symptoms, which are symptoms that may be caused by lymphoma but that can also be linked to a wide range of other ailments, and these include rapid weight loss, itchy skin and heavy nocturnal sweating.
The only way to determine whether a patient does indeed suffer from lymphoma, and which type thereof, is to perform a range of medical tests. The first test that a doctor will perform is generally the complete removal or biopsy of the swollen lymph node, which is the analysed by microscope in order to determine whether the cells are indeed affected.