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What are Follicular Lymphoma Grades?

Follicular Lymphoma is a form of cancer in the lymphatic system. Specifically, follicular lymphoma is a common type of low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. For some types of lymphoma, the stage is not too useful in figuring out a person’s outlook. In these instances, other elements may give docs a greater thought about an individual’s prognosis. Follicular lymphoma grades relate to how many large lymphocytes a pathologist can see under a microscope. Lower lymphoma grades are slow growing and include follicular lymphoma grades 1-3a. When diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, your doctor might tell you the stage of your disease and the grade of your disease. Grades 1 to 2 and 3A follicular lymphoma are all gradual-rising and are treated in the same means.

Lymphoma can unfold rapidly from the lymph nodes to other parts of the body via the lymphatic system. As cancerous lymphocytes unfold into different tissues, the immune system cannot defend in opposition to infections as successfully. They may turn into painful if the enlarged glands press on organs, bones, and different constructions.

A doctor may also describe lymphoma as indolent, meaning that it remains in one place. Some lymphomas are aggressive, which implies they spread to different parts of the physique. By stage 4, it has unfolded to more distant organs, and docs discover it tougher to treat. If an individual has persistent viral signs, they should search medical session.

How are Follicular Lymphoma Grades Determined?

Pathologists determine the grade of follicular lymphoma by determining how many large lymphocytes are present. Grade 1 has the fewest large lymphocytes and 3B has the most. If your doctor gives you a grade of 1-3a, that means the cancer is slow-growing, or indolent, and they will all be treated in the same way. Having a grade of 1-3a will not likely change the treatment plan. However, Grade 3B is fast-growing, and the treatment plan for this is different than slower-growing grades. The World Health Organization has follicular lymphoma grading criteria:

Grade 1
When there are less than 5 large lymphocytes per high-power field, or under 25%.
Grade 2
When there are 6-15 large lymphocytes per high-power field, or 25-50%.
Grade 3
More than 15 large lymphocytes per high-power field, or over 50%.
Grade 3a
Grade 3a is further determined if there are still small lymphocytes present, not just all large lymphocytes.

How is Follicular Lymphoma Treated?

Early stage follicular lymphoma is often treated with radiotherapy. However, sometimes treatment is not needed quite yet, and doctors watch and wait with regular checkups called active monitoring. Treatment will begin if the disease spreads elsewhere in the body, or if symptoms appear. Active monitoring can appointments every few months with examinations and blood tests.

Follicular Lymphoma Symptoms

Symptoms of follicular lymphoma are rare, but if you have them you may experience:

  • Swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, groin, armpits, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats