Lymph node cancer – multiple prognoses
The tumour incidence of lymph node cancer (lymphoma) is very diverse in its occurrence and the resulting prognoses. The relative survival rate after five years is around 68 percent (Robert Koch Institute surveys). Treatment by chemotherapy or surgery is often combined with adjuvant radiation therapy for successful treatment.
approx. 3.8 %
approx. 70 %
approx. 70 years
Source: “Cancer in Germany”, RKI/Krebsdaten.de
Where can you have lymphoma treated in Munich?
Patients with lymph node cancer can be treated in the best possible way with the help of an individual treatment strategy. The team of radiotherapy of Radiologie München supports colleagues from other disciplines within the framework of tumour boards to develop an individual treatment plan.
What does lymphoma mean?
The term lymphoma covers various diseases of the lymphatic system and lymph nodes. Although a lymphoma is simply a swelling of the lymph nodes and thus may not be problematic, the term is, however, often used in connection with a malignant cancer, such aslymphoma (malignant lymphoma).
If you are diagnosed with lymph gland or lymph node cancer, the attending doctor will work with our specialists to develop an individual treatment plan to treat the cancer efficiently.
The lymphatic system
In addition to the blood circulation, the lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the transport of endogenous substances and in immune defense. Starting from the lymphatic organs thymus, bone marrow, lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and stomach, tissue fluid (lymph) is transported throughout the body.
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the development of white blood cells (lymphocytes). If there is a malformation (degeneration) and an uncontrolled multiplication of white blood cells in the body, this is called malignant lymphoma.
How is malignant lymphoma treated?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malignant lymphomas can generally be classified according to the type of lymphocyte from which the disease originates. Two large groups for differentiation are Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or low-malignant or high-malignant lymphoma. Based on the spread and type or stage of the lymphoma, the treating doctors can work out a therapy plan together with the patient.
Wait and see (watch and wait)
If the course of the lymphoma is slow and symptom-free for the patient, it is not absolutely necessary to start treatment immediately. In this phase, it is important to keep frequent checks on the development of the lymphoma in order to immediately detect a worsening of the condition and then take rapid action. The situation is different, however, in the case of aggressive, rapidly progressing lymphomas.
If treatment is necessary, one treatment option would be systems therapy, in which a systemically acting drug (e.g., chemotherapy or immunotherapy) is administered. Chemotherapy (cytostatic drugs) inhibits the growth of rapidly dividing cancer cells, which can reduce them and prevent the cancer from spreading to other lymph nodes or organs.
Chemotherapy can be combined with radiation therapy or other therapies to optimize cancer treatment.
Teletherapy is usually used for malignant lymphomas. In this procedure, the tumor is irradiated from outside the body through the skin covering with high-energy rays. Radiation therapy is used to specifically destroy cancer cells and thus also prevent their spread.
The irradiation field, i.e. the area of the body where the tumor is located, is precisely calculated and kept as small as possible so that mainly the diseased tissue is irradiated. In this way, the healthy tissue is spared as much as possible.
What is the treatment process in our practices?
What do you need to pay attention to before, during and after treatment?
Once a precise cancer diagnosis and a treatment plan have been determined, your attending physician will provide you with comprehensive information about the individual treatment steps, the course of therapy, scheduling and what you need to keep in mind. Ask your doctor if there is any uncertainty about treatment, side effects, or possible consequences.
After every treatment, follow-up care is essential for every patient. It is so important because regular follow-up examinations can verify the success of the therapy. At the same time, a relapse can be detected quickly. A rapid response in the event of a relapse, can counteract further spread of the cancer or possible concomitant or secondary damage from the therapy. How regularly or how long follow-up is necessary depends primarily on the type, spread and stage of the lymphoma.
What are the side effects of lymphoma treatment?
Despite careful planning of cancer therapy, side effects can occur with individual forms of treatment. These are noticeable during but also after the treatment. Talk to your treating doctor about these side effects. Some symptoms can be treated well, and in some cases the treatment plan can be adjusted.
The cytostatic drugs used in chemotherapy attack not only fast-growing cancer cells, but also rapidly dividing cells of the hematopoietic system, skin and mucosa. Therefore, side effects such as fatigue, immune deficiency, anemia nausea, diarrhea and hair loss are common with chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy is delivered to the body in a very targeted manner and in as small a dose as possible. Depending on the tissue/organ irradiated, irritation (such as reddening of the skin) may occur, which is usually reversible.