Bihar alone accounts for maximum new blood cancer cases every year. Taking the rising epidemic of cancer into consideration and the need to consult specialists, it is vital that the right information is provided to the people. Various diseases such as cancer become complicated due to neglect, non compliance with medication and above all due to ignorance of not consulting the right specialists. In an interview, Dr Avinash Kumar, Consultant Hemato-Oncology, Paras Cancer Centre, highlights the various myths and facts associated with Lymphoma.
Myth 1: We have made no progress in fighting Lymphoma. At present there is no treatment for it.
Fact : False! There are continuous advance being made in cancer research that are highlighting high success rate and showcasing low side effects with improved quality of life for the patient. Advancement in PET CT and CT has enabled the diagnoses and the treatment tracking of lymphoma. Today Stem Cell Transplant or Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) is one of the most promising treatment procedures for lymphoma. These treatments are readily available in specialised cancer care centre of the country, such as Paras Cancer Centre.
Myth 2: Cancer treatment for lymphoma is risky and kills more than it cures.
Fact : Cancer treatment for lymphoma is a long, continuous and persistent effort. It includes a combination of various cancer treatment modalities – chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplant. The success rate definitely depends on the stage at which the cancer treatment commenced the aggressiveness of cancer and above all the efficacy of the treatment. At this point of time treatment of lymphoma through Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) has almost 70% success rate.
Myth 3: A Biopsy can spread cancer, especially lymphoma.
Fact : Various researches and medical journals have highlighted that biopsy is the best way to confirm a diagnosis. Patients that have confirmed diagnosis have better chances of recovery. Biopsies offer valuable information to the doctor, according to which the treatment plan is devised. It helps the doctor with the stage , type, location, aggressiveness and nature of cancer. It in no case spreads cancer and is a must to confirm cancer.
Myth 4: There are various tests to diagnose lymphoma – Blood Cancer.
At present there is no screening test for lymphoma. The diagnosis is an overlap of physical examination, PET CT, CT and blood tests. Signs and symptoms that include fever, chills, night sweats, breathing issues, coughing and chest pain along with enlarged lymph nodes and fatigue help doctors list lymphoma as an option. A biopsy confirms lymphoma.
If you are facing any of the following, it is best that you consult a doctor or a cancer specialist at the earliest as it could be lymphoma.
- Persistent fever with night chills
- Enlarged lymph nodes with an especially swollen neck
- Weight loss