What Are The Symptoms of Pulmonary Lymphoma?

This entry looks at pulmonary lymphoma, a lymphoma subtype. 'Lymphoma' is an umbrella term that loosely refers to several dozen independent categorical types and subtypes of cancers of the lymphatic system.

What is Pulmonary Lymphoma?

Primary pulmonary lymphoma refers to a B-cell, non-Hodgkin lymphoma that develops as a single tumor mass in one or both lungs and is generally not found to have spread outside the lungs. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as either an abscess or as non-small cell lung cancer.

In most cases, pulmonary lymphoma is classified as a low-grade (indolent) B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that develops in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). However, as many as twenty percent of cases are high-grade pulmonary lymphoma and present as an extremely aggressive disease. This aggressive type is more commonly found in patients who are immunocompromised.

How Common is Pulmonary Lymphoma?

Primary pulmonary lymphoma is a very, very rare disease. It accounts for about one half of one percent of all lung cancers, and about the same percentage of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

What are some symptoms of pulmonary lymphoma?

Similar to other lymphomas, the symptoms associated with pulmonary lymphomas are non-specific and can be interpreted to be many different things. They are:

  • Fevers
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Respiratory problems

Treatment and Prognosis of Pulmonary lymphoma

Because this cancer is so rare, the optimal treatment for pulmonary lymphoma remains in dispute. However, it is most commonly treated with R-CHOP combination chemotherapy or CHOP-related chemotherapy. The efficacy of surgical resection of the tumor has not been confirmed as a reliable therapeutic response.

That said, the median survival for patients with high-grade primary pulmonary lymphoma is around 8-10 years, provided the patient isn't immunocompromised by, for example, HIV infection.

Sources:

  • Cadranel J, Wislez M, Antoine M. "Primary pulmonary lymphoma." Eur Respir J 2002;20(3):750-762.
  • Brown, S et al. "High-grade primary pulmonary B cell lymphoma presenting as a necrotic mass.(Teaching Cases of the Month)(Case study)." Respiratory Care. Daedalus Enterprises, Inc. 2011.

Photo: Pexels

More Articles

More Articles

In T cell lymphoma, T lymphocytes, which are an essential part of the body's immune response, become malignant. T cell lymphomas account for about...

Lymphomatoid Papulosis (LyP) is a rare skin disorder that involves cancerous looking skin lesions. It is more than a skin condition; it is the...

In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you have your B-cell lymphomas and you have your T-cell lymphomas.

Why B...

MALT lymphoma is a rare B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that typically runs an indolent or slow-growing clinical...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a relatively rare B-cell subtype of non-Hodgkin'...

T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (T-LBL) is a very rare subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It tends to develop in...

In general, a diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma denotes a poorer prognosis than a diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma. One of...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is just one of 50-60 known B-cell subtypes of...

After some of the dust has settled, the thoughts of many new lymphoma patients turn to diet and nutrition. They want to know if, in the past,...

The term NK T cell lymphoma refers to one of two subtypes of lymphoma that affect the NK (Natural Killer)...

In a perfect world, every case of cancer would respond to, and be cured by first-line therapy. Unfortunately, it is not often the case. This is...

Prednisone is a glucocorticosteroid (a steroid) used in the treatment of many types of cancers. It functions as an anti-inflammatory medicine that...

In 1964, researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed the first combination chemotherapy that cured a...