Stable Follicular Lymphoma

Overview of Stable Follicular Lymphoma

Stable follicular lymphoma is a type of slow-growing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the white blood cells. It is a type of B cell lymphoma, which is a cancer beginning in B cells, a type of white blood cell responsible for the production of antibodies. It is considered a low-grade malignancy, meaning it doesn’t typically spread rapidly and grow aggressively, although it can if left untreated. It usually affects older people, the average age of diagnosis is 58.

Symptoms of Stable Follicular Lymphoma

The most common symptom of stable follicular lymphoma is painless swelling in the affected lymph nodes, most commonly in the neck, armpits, or groin. These enlarged lymph nodes can be felt under the skin, they can also press on other tissues in the body, causing pain in the chest, shoulder, neck, abdomen, or back. Fatigue, fever, night sweats, and unintentional weight loss can also occur.

Common Tests for Stable Follicular Lymphoma

If a doctor suspects stable follicular lymphoma, they will order a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Common tests are:

  • Complete Blood Count - A CBC measures red and white blood cell counts, as well as levels of antibodies in the blood.
  • Biopsy - A biopsy can be used to take a small sample of a suspected lymphoma and test it.
  • CT Scan - A CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis helps the doctor identify the location and size of any tumors.
  • Flow Cytometry - Flow cytometry helps to differentiate between malignant and normal lymphocytes.
  • PET Scan - A PET scan can be used to identify active areas of cancer in the body.

Treatment of Stable Follicular Lymphoma

Stable follicular lymphoma is a slow-growing disease and typically does not require immediate treatment. Depending on the number of involved lymph nodes, age and medical history, treatment options may vary. Common treatments for stable follicular lymphoma include:

  • Watchful Waiting - Some patients may not need treatment right away, and can be monitored for signs of disease progression.
  • Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy can be used to reduce the number of cancer cells in the body.
  • Radiation Therapy - Radiation therapy can be used to target particular areas of the body where the lymphoma is present.
  • Immunotherapy - Immunotherapy can be used to strengthen the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer.
  • Targeted Therapies - Targeted therapies can be used to specifically target cancer cells and reduce their growth and spread.

Outlook of Stable Follicular Lymphoma

The prognosis of stable follicular lymphoma depends on factors such as age, overall health, and extent of the disease. With treatment, many patients respond favorably and may have long-term remissions. Stable follicular lymphoma is a slow-growing disease, and some people can go years without needing treatment. Personalized treatment plans can help patients better manage their condition and live a healthy life.