What is Intestinal Lymphoma?
A lymphoma is a cancer that occurs in our body's lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small organs found throughout the body, including deep inside the abdominal cavity, that aid our immune system. This lymphatic system, which bears some resemblance to our vascular system, has vessels that circulates lymph (a fluid) throughout the body. However, this passage of lymph occurs as a result of muscle movement; unlike the heart in the vascular system, there is no pump to regulate the flow.
What causes intestinal lymphoma?
Intestinal lymphoma of the small intestine is a recognized complication of celiac sprue, and can occur in immunodeficiency syndromes. Patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have a higher risk of developing intestinal lymphoma. These lymphocytic tumors are also more common in men, occurring in middle age or later years.
What are the symptoms of intestinal lymphoma?
Symptoms can include:
- crampy-like abdominal pain
- weight loss
- features of malabsorption
- rectal bleeding
- severe constipation and/or bowel obstruction