What Is the Main Cause of Primary Lymphoma of Bone?

What is lymphoma?

The exact cause of lymphoma of bone is unknown; however, some of the risk factors that increase your chances of getting lymphoma are having a close relative with lymphoma, chemical, radiation, and more

Lymphoma is the cancer of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a subtype of the white blood cells of the immune system. These cells help the body fight infections and are normally found in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow. Lymphomas can be non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Both types of lymphoma are further classified into T-cells or B-cells.

What is primary lymphoma of bone?

Primary lymphoma of bone (PLB) is a rare type of cancer that starts in the bone instead of the lymph nodes. PLB accounts for less than 5% of all bone tumors. PLB is also known as reticulum cell sarcoma, malignant lymphoma of bone or osteolymphoma, and it is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What is the main cause of primary lymphoma of bone?

The exact cause of lymphoma of bone is unknown; however, some of the risk factors that increase your chances of getting lymphoma are:

  • Having a close relative with lymphoma
  • Exposure to chemicals such as benzene
  • History of radiation
  • Disturbed recycling of bone (Paget’s disease)
  • AIDS
  • Viral infection
  • Male sex
  • Over 60 years old

What are the signs of primary lymphoma of bone?

Pain is the most common symptom of PLB. Pain due to PLB typically worsens with physical activity. PLB weakens the bone, so some patients may develop bone fractures. Other symptoms of PLB are:

In rare cases, some neurologic symptoms may develop, which are:

  • Numbness or tingling in the legs
  • Lack of voluntary control over urine or defecation
  • Sharp stabbing pain

How can lymphoma of bone be diagnosed?

Biopsy of involved tissue is used to confirm the diagnosis. Lab tests are performed to rule out other medical conditions, which include:

Radiographic tests such as X-ray and ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, and bone scanning are also performed.

What is the treatment for primary lymphoma of bone?

Radiation therapy is often combined with chemotherapy.

Chemotherapies used include:

Patients may undergo surgery for the following conditions:

  • Biopsy
  • Skeletal complications
  • Fractures
  • Complications of the spine

A stem cell transplant is another treatment option for some patients with lymphoma of bone.

What is the survival rate for primary lymphoma of bone?

The survival chances are higher in primary lymphoma of bone as compared to other types of bone cancers. A five-year overall survival rate is 95% with chemoradiation and 78% with single therapy, according to a study from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Simply put, 95% of the patients live for more than five years with chemotherapy and radiation and 78% when they had either chemotherapy or radiation.

Complications of lymphoma of bone include:

  • Fracture
  • Infection
  • A blood clot in the veins
  • Spread of cancer to other sites
  • Toxicity due to chemotherapy

Patients with lymphoma of bone have typically responded well to treatment.


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