Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer which happens when a type of blood cell called lymphocytes grow out of control.
They collect and form into tumours, most commonly in the lymph nodes, but can also appear in any part of the body. You may sometimes (but not always) feel lumps in the groins, neck or armpits, where the lymph nodes are close to the surface.
There are more than 60 different types of lymphoma; Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which is the majority, are categorised into low grade (slow-growing) and high grade (fast-growing). Different types of lymphoma behave differently and need different treatment.
Sometimes, some slow-growing lymphomas do not need any treatment and patients enter a period of observation. Others need treatment straight away, usually with chemotherapy, and sometimes radiotherapy. Unlike ‘solid’ tumours such as breast or bowel cancers, lymphoma is not treated with surgery.
Lymphoma is staged depending on where it is in the body, from I to IV, and whether the patient has particular symptoms (called ‘B’ symptoms). It is important to know that the staging system is different to other cancers, and does not compare with the similar staging numbers in other cancers.
You can find more information on Lymphomas, staging and treatment here
The Local Lymphoma Action support group meets on the second Thursday of every month at the Thanington Resource Centre, Canterbury CT1 3XE
Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU)
If you have either completed your lymphoma treatment or have been told that you do not currently need treatment, you will have been referred to Patient Initiated Follow-Up (sometimes known as PIFU). Instead of having regular follow-up clinic appointments, you will be able to contact your clinical nurse specialist when you need to discuss any worries or concerning symptoms you may have.
For more information on Patient Initiated Follow-Up, and how and when to contact the Clinical Nurse Specialist, please read the Trust leaflet Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) for patients with lymphoma.