Lymphoma Screening in Dallas, TX
Since 2003, Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging has provided patients in Dallas, TX with the latest in diagnostic imaging technology. Our highly-trained radiologists specialize in state-of-the-art testing procedures to test patients for lymphoma. Our goal is to provide every patient with the best degree of possible care. For more information, contact our diagnostic imaging center at (214) 345-8300 and schedule an appointment today.
What is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system. The lymphatic system includes lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels, the spleen, thymus, and bone marrow. Lymphoma occurs when abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, undergo uncontrolled growth and form tumors.
There are two main types of lymphoma:
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL): This type of lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, large abnormal cells found within the lymph nodes. HL typically starts in a single lymph node and may spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs if left untreated. It can affect people of any age but is more common in young adults.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL): Non-Hodgkin lymphoma encompasses a large group of lymphomas that do not have Reed-Sternberg cells. NHL can originate from either B-cells or T-cells, which are different types of lymphocytes. It is more common than Hodgkin lymphoma and can occur at any age.
The exact cause of lymphoma is often unknown, but several risk factors have been identified, including:
- Weakened immune system: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or organ transplant recipients who take immunosuppressive drugs, have an increased risk of developing lymphoma.
- Infections: Certain infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that causes mononucleosis, the human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1), Helicobacter pylori (linked to stomach lymphomas), and certain types of human herpesvirus, can increase the risk of lymphoma.
- Age: Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age, but the risk increases with age, particularly for certain subtypes.
- Family history: Having a close relative with lymphoma may slightly increase the risk of developing the disease.
- Chemical exposures: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides, solvents, and certain herbicides, has been associated with an increased risk of lymphoma.
The symptoms of lymphoma can vary depending on the type and stage of the disease but may include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, itching, and difficulty breathing.
What Are the Risk Factors of Lymphoma?
The following are risk factors for Hodgkin Lymphoma:
- Previous infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection or mononucleosis
- Weakened immune system
- Age: occurs most often in early adulthood (20’s) or late adulthood (after the age of 55)
- Family History
The following are risk factors for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma:
- Age (mostly people older than 50)
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Previous Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Radiation exposure
- Immune system deficiency and HIV infection
When Are PET Scans Used?
PET scans are typically performed at the beginning or end of a treatment cycle. Before treatment begins, a PET scan is commonly used to determine what stage the lymphoma is and which parts of the body are affected. After treatment, diagnostic imaging will be performed to:
- Determine the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Create a future treatment plan based on the results.
- Determine if the lymphoma has returned a few months or years after treatment.
How PET Scans Work to Find Lymphoma
PET scans tend to be most useful in those who have Hodgkin lymphoma or high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma because the lymphoma cells are typically more active. The PET scan will help the doctor determine which cells are cancerous and which ones aren’t. A PET scan will be combined with a CT scan, which provides accurate images of the body’s organs, lymph nodes, tumors.
What Occurs During and After a PT Scan?
The patient should not eat or drink anything other than water at least four to six hours before the scan. The PET scan will not be painful and should take less than an hour. Once the scan is completed, the patient will be able to go home afterward. The results of the scan will not be immediate. The doctor will typically receive the scan within a few days, determine the results, and talk to you about what the results mean.
Schedule an Appointment for a Lymphoma Screening in Dallas, TX
At Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging we offer comprehensive PET and CT scans to patients in need of lymphoma diagnosis in Dallas, TX. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our molecular imaging center at (214) 345-8300 today!