What is Adult T-cell Lymphoma?Adult T-cell lymphoma is a rare type of T-cell cancer caused by human lymphotropic virus type1 (HTLV-1) and typically affects lymph nodes but can also develop in the blood, skin and other areas or organs of the body. T cells or T-lymphocytes are the type of white blood cells that help to fight various pathogens (Disease-causing microorganisms or agents). Adult T-cell lymphoma is more common in black people of southeastern ethnicity. It is a rare condition that usually affects adults and is very rare in children.
Disease CausesThe human lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) strain (subtype) of the retrovirus is the likely cause of 20 million affected people worldwide. Intravenous drug abusers are at the greatest risk of contracting human lymphotropic virus type 1 and adult T-cell lymphoma. Sharing contaminated needles, transfusing infected blood from a person with HTL-1 infection into a healthy person, and contacting a baby with contaminated mother’s blood during pregnancy or childbirth are risk factors that can cause adult T-cell lymphoma.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Increase calcium level in the blood
- Swelling and enlargement of the lymph nodes of the neck, armpits, and groin
- Constant feeling of tiredness
- Rashes or lesions on the skin
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant Fever
- Excessive sweating at night
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis these are
- Diagnostic imaging techniques such as USG, CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan can be used to detect the site, size, and extent of the tumour.
- Complete blood count with peripheral smear
- The antibody test for HTLV-1
- Tumour biopsy
- Histopathological examination