Lymphoma is a cancer in the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Typically, lymphomas present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells.These malignant cells often originate in lymph nodes, presenting as an enlargement of the node (a tumor).It can also affect other organs in which case it is referred to as extranodal lymphoma. Extranodal sites include the skin,brain, bowels and bone.
Lymphomas are closely related to lymphoid leukemia’s, which also originate in lymphocytes but typically involve only circulating blood and the bone marrow and do not usually form static tumors. There are many types of lymphomas, and in turn,lymphomas are a part of the broad group of diseases called hematological neoplasm’s.
The simplest classification divides lymphoma into two classes:
SYMPTOMS (As noted by the parent):
Commonly children present with fever and swellings in region of neck or axilla along with weight loss. These symptoms prompt the parents to seek medical attention.
Requires to test the lymphnode for histopathology and markers to differentiate the type of lymphoma as treatment differs for the two classes. A baseline testing is done for blood counts and chemistries and a lymphnode biopsy is carried out. In order to stage the tumor Ultrasound or preferably CT scan of neck,chest and abdomen is done to look for nodes.A bone marrow and Lumbar puncture are done to ascertain if there sites are free of tumor. For HL the latest test in staging is a PET scan (Positron emmission scan)
Has to be done to monitor side effects of chemotherapy. A Pulmonary function test and ECHO are usually done. Counseling is done for side effects during chemotherapy- fever, nausea, hair fall, requirement for blood and platelet transfusions.