Fearing a recurrence of lymphoma

A diagnosis of cancer is always scary, but what is also scary in those cancers that have a good prognosis, is the risk that once the cancer is ‘cured’ it can come back. A survey from the American Cancer Society found that 70% of cancer survivors worry about the condition returning, to the extent of this becoming a ‘clinically significant symptom of anxiety’.

The American Cancer Society estimate that about 20% of people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma will experience a relapse (mostly within two years of first treatment), relapse of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is also common. As expert oncologist, Professor Tim Illidge states in his article about the diagnosis and treatment of lymphoma, “further scans… may be performed in those who have some residual disease present at the end of treatment to monitor subsequent progress.” However, once patients enter remission, cancer of the lymph nodes can no longer be detected using the usual tests such as CT scan or PET scans.

The Lymphoma Association emphasise that “relapsed non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas can be treated.” The initial treatment plan will be individualised but will probably involve chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody treatment or radiotherapy.

Symptoms to look out for if you are concerned about a relapse are lumps, nausea, fatigue and pain in the groin. You can contact Professor Tim Illidge using the online contact form if you are concerned about a relapse.

One of a group of special proteins in the blood that are produced in response to a specific antigen and play a key role in immunity and allergy. Full medical glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer. Full medical glossary
The abbreviation for computed tomography, a scan that generates a series of cross-sectional x-ray images Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
Abbreviation for Eustachian tube. Full medical glossary
One of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body. Full medical glossary
A treatment that modifies the immune response for the prevention or treatment of disease. Full medical glossary
A watery or milky bodily fluid containing lymphocytes, proteins and fats. Lymph accumulates outside the blood vessels in the intercellular spaces of the body tiisues and is collected by the vessels of the lymphatic system. Full medical glossary
A type of cancer that affects the lymph nodes, part of the immune system. Full medical glossary
A specialist in the treatment of cancer. Full medical glossary
pulmonary embolism Full medical glossary
An assessment of the likely progress of a condition. Full medical glossary
The treatment of disease using radiation. Full medical glossary
A return or worsening of the symptoms of a disease after a period of remission. Full medical glossary
The lessening or disappearance of the symptoms or signs of a disease. Full medical glossary