Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system that develops in lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are located all over the body, and make and store white blood cells that fight infection. When lymphoma develops, these white blood cells become abnormal and grow without control. These cells can travel to different parts of the body. As a result, the involved lymph nodes become enlarged. Other associated symptoms include fever, weight loss and/or night sweats that soak your clothes.
There are different types and classification of lymphoma. The two broadest categories are Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some lymphomas grow very slowly. Others grow much faster. Sometimes, a slow-growing type of lymphoma can become fast-growing. By using state-of-the-art molecular tools the pathologist will define the type of lymphoma. Several imaging studies including PET/CT scans will be used to define the extent or stage of lymphoma.
The type and stage of lymphoma helps determine the treatment plan. Systemic therapy with chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or targeted therapy is usually required. Coordination of care with our medical oncologists is a fundamental part of our practice. The delivery of systemic therapy and radiation therapy is seamless.
Radiation therapy is an important part in the treatment of lymphoma. Highly targeted radiation technologies including conventional 3D conformal radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation treatment (IMRT), and/or stereotactic body radiation treatment (SBRT) are used to deliver maximum radiation doses to tumors, with the least impact on normal tissues and organs. Advanced imaging techniques (image-guided radiation therapy) are utilized before and during radiation treatment to monitor and deliver the radiation treatments. Throughout your treatment, we monitor the effectiveness of the radiation therapy and modify our management as needed.