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Lymphoma

a) What is lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a condition where the white cells that usually fight infection are “out of control”, keep dividing, and do not die. These abnormal cells can collect and grow in the lymph nodes. They can, however, grow elsewhere in the body including the conjunctiva. Conjunctival lymphomas are mostly of non-Hodgkin’s B-cell type. Follicular lymphoma is the next most common lymphoma. The lymphoma may just affect the conjunctiva or can affect other areas in the body as well.

b) What are the symptoms of conjunctival lymphoma?

Conjunctival lymphoma looks like a large “salmon pink” growth on the conjunctiva. This may cause grittiness, watering, or irritation to the eye.

c) Will I need any tests?

A biopsy is usually required to confirm the diagnosis. If we suspect the lymphoma is behind the eye or affecting else where in the body we may organise:

• Ultrasound scan

• CT scan

• MRI scan

d) What is the treatment for lymphoma?

After biopsy confirms the diagnosis of lymphoma, we may treat with:

• Radiotherapy

• Chemotherapy

Our choice of treatment is be guided by the haematologist or medical oncologist.