Generally lymphoma is considered as one of the few types of curable cancers, but prognosis does differ with each type of lymphoma.
1. What is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system. It usually arises in the lymph nodes but can also occur in other parts of the body.
2. What are solid and non-solid tumours?
Solid tumours generally refer to cancers or tumours arising from the organs like breast, lung, stomach, liver, kidney etc etc.
The proper term for non-solid tumours is haematological malignancies or liquid tumours. These are the blood cancers which comprise of leukaemias, myelomas and lymphomas. They are called liquid (non-solid) tumours or haematological malignancies because the cancer cells develop from the various types of blood cells.
3. Is lymphoma curable?
Yes, generally lymphoma is considered as one of the few types of curable cancers.
But, as they are many types of lymphoma, prognosis does differ with each type of lymphoma. Unfortunately, some, like the low grade lymphomas are not curable.
4. Is surgery required for Lymphoma and what are the other treatment options?
Surgery is seldom needed for lymphomas. Perhaps the only role for surgery is to get a lymph node biopsy for diagnosis.
5. What happens after treatment for Lymphoma?
After completion of chemotherapy for lymphomas, a close monitoring process is needed to keep a close eye for recurrences. This involves regular blood tests, clinical examinations and radiological examinations for 4-5 years.
Dr Teo Cheng Peng is a Senior Consultant specialising in Haematology at Parkway Cancer Centre. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Medicine and Surgery in 1984 and was conferred a Masters of Medicine (Internal Medicine) three years later.
Dr Teo received his advanced training at Royal Marsden Hospital. Upon returning, he started the Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant program at the National University Hospital.
In 1995, he was recruited to develop the Autologous Stem Cell Transplant program for solid tumours in the Department of Medical Oncology, Singapore General Hospital. He continued his career in Gleneagles Hospital, where he continued his work with stem cells in the fields of haematology and medical oncology. To find out more about Dr Teo, click here.