Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphocytes or the white blood cells in your body. These white blood cells are a critical part of your immune system, carrying fluids throughout the lymph nodes across the body. A lymphoma is caused when these abnormal or cancerous lymphocytes get accumulated in the lymph nodes. Broadly, lymphomas are classified as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. They are further classified as slow- growing or fast -growing lymphomas.
The type of lymphoma that the patient has will dictate the type of treatment he or she receives. Doctors may consider different types of treatment options for lymphoma. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are some of the more common types of treatment. Additionally, targeted drug therapy, steroids, stem cell transplants, and antibody treatments may be used.
These treatments can result in complications and side effects such as anemia and chronic fatigue. The person’s immune system may be weakened, increasing the risk of infections. Treatments can result in low counts of white blood cells and platelets, trouble controlling bowel movements and difficulty sleeping. If the patient is on radiotherapy, he or she may suffer from extreme fatigue Fatigue may make it difficult to perform even daily routine tasks. With some types of treatment, side effects can continue for months after treatment begins, making it impossible to go to work and earn a living.
Being diagnosed and treated for lymphoma means you may have several months when you will be under strenuous treatment, and many more months after of feeling fatigued, chronically tired and unable to work. You may, therefore, qualify for Social Security disability benefits during this time.