Do lymph nodes with lymhoma continually increase in size?

Question

If a lymph node were affected by lymphoma would it continually increase in size over a period of months?

Answer

Lymphoma is a cancer arising from a lymph node. As a general rule of thumb, lymphomas grow if untreated. However, as with most rule of thumbs, there are exceptions. Sometimes lymph nodes which harbor lymphoma grow initially, but then stop growing-- maybe they've outgrown their bood supply and can't grow any further. A smaller percentage of lymphomas actually come and go for a while before they enter into a rapid growth phase. These types of lymphomas are particularly difficult to diagnosis. Why do they come and go for a while? It's felt to be related to a person's immune system. When the lymphoma starts to grow, on occasion an intact immune system can keep it in check for a while.

However, by and large, lymphomas grow. In HIV-infected patients they grow particularly rapidly.