Lymphoma attacking gastric cells
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of indolent (slow growing) Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) that affects T-cells. It accounts for 1 in 50 cases of NHL and is more common in children and men. This cancer often affects the lymph nodes, skin, liver, lungs, and bone marrow.
This disease can be systematic (occurring throughout the body) or cutaneous (occurring in or on the skin).
Diagnosis and Staging
ALCL presents with typical lymphoma symptoms, including swollen, painless lymph nodes, night sweats, fever, weight loss, and fatigue.
Diagnosis is made via lymph node biopsy. Other test, such as CT scans, PET scans, ultrasounds, and chest X-rays are used for staging. The stages are as follows:
- Stage I
- Cancerous cells are found in only one lymph node group or one area outside of the lymphatic system
- Stage II
- Two lymph groups are affected on the same side of the diaphragm, or one lymph group and a nearby organ are affected.
- Stage III
- Lymph groups on both sides of the diaphragm are involved. Lymph cells may also have moved to one internal organ, such as the liver or lungs. Cells may also have metastasized to the spleen.
- Stage IV
- More than one organ is involved. Bone marrow may also be affected.
Treatments vary depending on the stage of the disease and may include one or more of the following:
- Chemotherapy, especially the CHOP regimen
- Radiation is given for the earlier stages of disease, or in combination with chemotherapy for later stages of the disease.
- Stem cell transplant/bone marrow transplant is used in very advanced cases.