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Understanding Lymphoma and the Importance of Early Diagnosis

04 August 2023 · 3 mins read


Read about the latest news on Malaysian Celebrity Chef’s lymphoma diagnosis and the importance of early detection!

In recent news, a renowned Malaysian celebrity chef has been diagnosed with lymphoma and consulted Dr Jay Suriar, an oncologist with Gleneagles Hospital.

His recent diagnosis has brought to light the importance of understanding what lymphoma is, the early symptoms, and the crucial role of early diagnosis.

Understanding lymphoma

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system.

The lymphatic system is an extensive network that extends throughout the body. Lymph nodes play a crucial role in filtering substances carried by the lymph fluid. They also contain lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections. There are 2 different types of lymphocytes: T cells and B cells. When lymphocytes undergo abnormal changes, it can lead to the development of lymphoma.

Types of lymphoma

There are two main types of lymphoma:

  1. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)

    Hodgkin lymphoma can be detected by the presence of a specific type of abnormal cells called Reed-Sternberg cells under a microscope.

    Reed Sternberg cells are a type of white blood cell called a B lymphocyte that has become cancerous. B lymphocytes typically produce antibodies to fight infections.

  2. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

    In non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the lymphocytes begin to multiply abnormally and start to collect in various parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes. Your susceptibility to infection increases as your lymphocytes lose their infection-fighting properties.

Treatment can vary greatly depending on the type and grade of lymphoma. Make sure to consult with your oncologist for more information.

Early symptoms of lymphoma

The early symptoms of lymphoma can often be non-specific and may resemble common illnesses. These can include:

  • Painless swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Unexplained weight loss over a short period of time
  • Fever with no apparent cause
  • Itching
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain

Speak to your doctor if you have a swollen lymph node for 3 to 4 weeks with no improvement.

For more information, read this article: Lymphoma: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

The importance of early diagnosis

Early diagnosis of lymphoma, like many other types of cancer, can significantly improve the prognosis and the effectiveness of treatment.

Even if you are concerned about the nature of the symptom, it is imperative to seek medical help. Your concern is unlikely to go away unless you schedule an appointment. The presented symptom may not be attributed to the presence of cancer. However, if it is cancer, the sooner it is detected, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment.

Regular health check-ups, awareness of early symptoms, and prompt medical consultation, when the symptoms are noticed can facilitate timely detection and treatment.

In light of the Malaysian celebrity’s diagnosis, we are reminded of the importance of staying vigilant about our health. Our thoughts are with him and all those battling lymphoma.

Let us use this as a reminder to prioritise our health and encourage our loved ones to do the same.

Book an appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

It is important to take intentional steps to prioritise our health. Schedule and attend your annual health screenings to ensure your general well-being. Gleneagles Hospitals’ comprehensive health screenings can support your goal towards a healthy life.

At Gleneagles Hospital, we work with an expert team of oncologists to provide comprehensive support to patients undergoing cancer treatment. Get in touch with us to book an appointment today with our oncologists, or find out more about our Oncology Services at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.

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