Lymphoma treatment and diagnosis

Lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. It affects more men than women. There are two main types of lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

 

What is lymphoma?

Lymphoma can affect people of any age, including children. In most cases, it can be treated.

Lymphoma happens when B-lymphocytes, white blood cells that help fight infection, multiply abnormally. They gather in the lymph nodes (glands), often in the neck, armpits or groin. They can also collect in lymph nodes in other parts of your body. These abnormal cells stop the body from being able to fight infection.

Causes of lymphoma

No one knows precisely what causes lymphoma. You’re more likely to be affected if:

  • A close relative has had lymphoma including Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • You have a condition that makes your immune system weaker such as Sjögren’s syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or Crohn’s disease
  • You have been prescribed drugs that make your immune system weaker
  • You have HIV
  • You’ve had cancer treatment including radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • You’ve had the Epstein-Barr virus in the past (which causes glandular fever)

Symptoms of lymphoma

A high temperature (fever)

An itchy rash all over your body

Breathlessness and a cough that doesn't go away

Feeling tired all the time

Having a swollen abdomen (tummy)

Having lots of infections

Sweating at night

Swollen lymph nodes (glands)

Unexplained weight loss

Having one or more of these signs doesn’t mean you have cancer but it’s best to ask your doctor for advice. The sooner your cancer is detected, the better the chances of treating it successfully.

Tests and diagnosis

Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and give you a physical examination to check for swollen lymph nodes. They may suggest waiting a while to see if the swelling goes down. If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for further tests including:

  • Blood tests
  • Scans including CT, MRI or PET-CT
  • Biopsy where a tiny sample of tissue is sent for analysis
  • Lumbar puncture
  • X-ray
  • Bone marrow tests

Treatments we offer

Treatments for lymphoma usually involve a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Meet our doctors

Our-doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you

Multiple selected

Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 514 1185

Bristol

300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

+44 (0)1454 642801

Cambridge

Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 633 664

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 676 351

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

+44 (0)203 613 9355

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)203 613 9356

Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 676 898

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 386 599

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 448 166

Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)1156 762 989

Oxford

Peters Way, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 224 884

Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9280 0102

Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)238 008 5138

Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 465 493