Lymphoma is a blood cancer which occurs when lymphocytes (an immune system white blood cell) grow and multiply uncontrollably. These cancerous cells can reach different parts of the body and form tumours. There are two primary types of Lymphoma – Hodgkin Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). T-Cell Lymphoma is a form of NHL. 15% of all NHL cases in the USA are identified as T-Cell Lymphoma.
The Different Types of T-Cell Lymphoma
There are many types of T-Cell lymphoma. Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma, Angioimmunoblastic Lymphoma, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, and Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma are some of the most common types. Some less common types of T-Cell lymphoma are Adult T-cell Lymphoma/ Leukemia (ATLL), Blastic NK-cell Lymphoma, Enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma, Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, Hepatosplenic gamma-delta T-cell Lymphoma, and Nasal NK/T-cell Lymphomas. Treatment-related T-cell lymphoma occurs after another procedure like an organ or a bone marrow transplant. The suppression of the immune system which is required for the transplant can make the patient vulnerable to this type of cancer.
Causes of T-Cell Lymphoma
Lifestyle choices are major factors when it comes to T Cell Lymphoma. Use of tobacco (chewing or smoking), an excess of alcohol consumption and exposure to UV rays can increase the probabilities of the disease. Older people are more vulnerable to T-Cell Lymphoma. Not much is understood about the different factors that can lead to T-Cell lymphoma. Some case studies and observations have underlined viral infections like HTLV-1 (Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1) and EBV (Epstein–Barr virus)
Some of the symptoms include abdominal pain or swelling, chest pain, difficulty in breathing and coughing, constant fatigue and loss of energy, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss and night sweats. Abnormalities with the skin are also a symptom.
Identifying T-Cell Lymphoma
Medical history is an important part of the identification procedure. Lab tests to look for abnormalities in the blood are crucial. Bone marrow biopsy, skin and tumour biopsy are also techniques to diagnose T-Cell Lymphoma. Imaging procedures like a PET scan, CT scan or an MRI scan are used to measure the extent of the cancer.
Treatment of T-Cell Lymphoma
For treatment of T-Cell lymphoma, you need to reach out to expert hematology or oncology professionals. Chemotherapy is one of the common methods used in managing T-Cell lymphoma. Radiation therapy is another treatment option. Autologous stem cell transplant can also be an option while many T-Cell lymphoma patients are treated with surgery. Combination chemotherapy is another method to which many T-Cell lymphoma patients have responded.
Skin-aimed treatments like UV light therapy and electron beam therapy have also been used for T-Cell Lymphoma. In electron beam therapy, the skin is exposed to a radiation that does not penetrate into the organs inside. There is a selection of approved drugs for the treatment of T-Cell lymphoma which includes romidepsin, gemcitabine, brentuximab vedotin and belinostat.
Survivors of lymphoma should always go for regular checkups. Some of the treatments can cause short-term and long-term side effects, at times serious ones. Attending to these is an integral part of a patient’s follow-up care.
Clinical trials offer many patients another option, in many cases, the last option after all else have failed. In clinical trials, new drugs and treatments are administered, led by expert doctors and researchers from the biggest health organizations in the country. Experimental therapies can be accessed through various organizations or expert physicians.
A New Way to Access the Right Care
Finding the right treatment can sometimes take a lot of time when you are not armed with enough information. Platforms like XpertDox are addressing this problem in the simplest of ways – an online search portal which is based on a special algorithm. Most online physical searches are based on location and reviews, which do not provide the proper picture. For serious and rare diseases, you need a specialized approach to finding care.
XpertDox features a database of a million doctors, 4500 health institutions and 18,000 clinical trials mapped to a list of more than 6000 diseases, 150 symptoms, 200 procedures and 130 medical specialties. This comprehensive data is churned into a smart algorithm that will direct patients to the specific medical practitioner for their condition.
From traditional methods to clinical trials, the options to treat T-Cell Lymphoma are increasing. Patients and their caregivers need to be given the latest updates and help in finding the most effective management therapy. The difficulties of living with this serious disease can be reduced with proper awareness, better coverage and a more organized way to reach out to the experts.