Diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is responsible for about forty per cent or two out of five people of all lymphoma cases. The most common cancer of the blood is lymphoma it occurs when white blood cells known as lymphocytes, grow abnormally there are two types of lymphoma, this are non- Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. There are two types of lymphocytes that are capable of developing into lymphomas: B- cells/ B-lymphocytes and T-cells/ T-lymphocytes. Lymphocytes that are cancerous are capable of travelling all over the body to the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, blood and to other organs where they may accumulate into tumors. Large b-cell lymphoma is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (blood cancers).
Large B-Cell Lymphoma – SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The first sign of DLBCL is a painless swell occurring under the armpits, groin or on the neck, this is caused by lymph nodes that have enlarged, multiple groups of nodes can also be affected. DLBCL can start in the lymph nodes and develop in a different part of the body such as the stomach or bowel this is known as extra nodal disease. DLBCL may spread to other organs like the lungs, liver and bones, lymphoma may cause a feeling of being tired or loss of appetite other symptoms include, high temperatures, weight loss and night sweats.
Large B-Cell Lymphoma- DIOGNOSIS
DLBCL is diagnosis by removing and examining enlarged lymph nodes under the microscope it is a small operation done under general or local anesthetic. Additional tests include, testing of bone marrow samples, scans and x-rays.
The first biopsy should be large enough so as to enable the doctors to test biological features that may help in predicting patient’s response to medicine and to help in confirming diagnosis accurately. A clinical system known as International Prognostic Index (IPI) is used to guide treatment and to predict the overall survival using risk factors that are known. Factors that predict risks of DLBCL relapse are, specific proteins blood levels, ability of patients to work without help, stage of the disease, lymphoma appearing in other organs that are outside lymphatic system and age.
Large B-Cell Lymphoma – TREATMENT
Large b cell lymphoma advances quickly thus it requires immediate treatment, the treatment that is most widely used is a mixture of chemotherapy drugs like (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, prednisone and vincristine) and rituximab leading to a cure in a large number of patients, this form of treatment is known as R-CHOP.
DLBCL is completely healed after the first treatment for majority of patients but for a few patients the disease may return. If the disease is not responding to treatment or relapses a high-dose of chemotherapy combined with stem cell transplant is the treatment used.
Chemotherapy drugs can cause side effects like reduced appetite, nausea, hair loss, mouth sores, and vomiting, chemotherapy can also cause the damage of healthy cells, put patients at a risk of infections as they undergo treatment and cause infertility.
It is important for a patient diagnosed with Diffuse large b-cell lymphoma to find support and connect with other people going through the same experience so as to share the feelings and emotions that they may be going through further more cancer treatment may cause emotional and physical discomfort.