Antibodies are proteins produced by B-lymphocytes. Antibodies are made in the bone marrow. B-lymphocytes (which are also called lymphocytes) are a type of white blood cell.
When a B-lymphocyte is stimulated by a foreign substance (such as a virus, bacteria, or an allergy), the B-lymphocyte becomes activated. This process is called maturation.
The B-lymphocytes that become activated are called B-cells. B-cells are found throughout the body. They usually live in lymph nodes and spleen.
The B-cells that become activated are called B-cells. They make a special kind of antibody called a B-cell receptor. The B-cell receptor can bind to an antigen. A B-cell that has bound an antigen is called a B-cell lymphoma cell.
The antibodies that make up the immune system’s response are made in special cells called B-lymphocytes.
What type of B-lymphocytes produce B-cell lymphoma cells?
The B-cell lymphoma cells that occur in many people with SLE are a type of B-cell lymphoma called follicular lymphoma.
Follicular lymphoma cells are found in the lymph nodes and bone marrow. They are the most common form of B-cell lymphoma. They usually start in the lymph nodes and can spread to the blood. They can also spread to the other organs in the body.
Most people with follicular lymphoma have a gene mutation called the c-MYC gene. This gene makes a protein called c-MYC. This protein is found in the majority of B-cells.
If you have B-cell lymphoma, you’ll have the c-MYC gene mutation.
If a c-MYC gene mutation causes your B-cell lymphoma, the B-cells will be a type of B-cell lymphoma called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
What causes SLE and B-cell lymphoma?
What are the symptoms of SLE and B-cell lymphoma?
SLE is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system is out of control. This can cause many different symptoms.
Some of the more common symptoms are:
- Joint pain
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Bleeding gums
- Muscle weakness
- Sores in the mouth
- Mouth ulcers
In some people with SLE, the symptoms of SLE can be confused with other conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid cancer
How is SLE diagnosed?
To diagnose SLE, your doctor will do a complete physical exam. They’ll also ask about your family history and symptoms.
Your doctor will probably order blood tests. This will help them find out if you have other diseases or conditions.
Your doctor will also want to find out if you have a mutation in the c-MYC gene. They’ll check this gene to see if you have the c-MYC gene mutation.
If your doctor suspects that you have SLE, they may order other tests as well. These tests may help them find out:
- What stage your SLE is in
- If you have other diseases or conditions
- If you have a strong family history of autoimmune diseases
What’s the treatment for SLE and B-cell lymphoma?
There’s no cure for SLE. Treatment is aimed at helping you manage the symptoms of SLE. It’s important to treat SLE in its early stages. This will help prevent complications.
The main treatment for SLE is a steroid called a corticosteroid.
Your doctor may also recommend that you take:
- An immunosuppressant
- An antimalarial drug
- A beta-blocker
- An antibiotic
- An antifungal drug
They’ll decide which medication is best for you.
If you have B-cell lymphoma, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy. A chemotherapy drug is usually a chemotherapy drug called rituximab.
If your doctor thinks that rituximab treatment is working for you, they may suggest that you have rituximab infusions every 3 weeks.
Your doctor may also suggest that you have radiation treatments.
Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help with the symptoms of SLE. If you have SLE, you may find that your symptoms get worse. This is because your immune system is out of control.
If your symptoms are getting worse, talk to your doctor about adding another medication to your treatment plan.
How can you prevent SLE and B-cell lymphoma?
Treatment can help you manage your SLE symptoms. But it can’t prevent SLE or prevent you from getting SLE.
Having SLE makes you more likely to get other autoimmune diseases. To help prevent SLE, your doctor may suggest that you:
- Avoid radiation treatments
- Avoid chemotherapy drugs
- Avoid immunosuppressant drugs
- Avoid beta-blockers
- Avoid antifungal drugs
Having a mutation in the c-MYC gene doesn’t mean that you will get SLE. But you may be at higher risk of getting SLE if you have the c-MYC gene mutation.
If you do have SLE, there are things you can do to help prevent it from getting worse. Some examples include:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get enough sleep
- Improve your stress management
When to call your doctor?
If you think that you may have SLE or B-cell lymphoma, call your doctor. They can confirm if you do have SLE or B-cell lymphoma.
If you do have SLE, your doctor may want to confirm if you also have the c-MYC gene mutation.
They may also want to order other tests to help them find out if you:
- Have a strong family history of autoimmune diseases
- Have had other autoimmune diseases
- Have a mutation in the c-MYC gene
- Have a history of rheumatic fever
What’s the long-term outlook?
There’s no cure for SLE. But there are treatments for SLE that can help you manage your symptoms.
The good news is that most people with SLE will go into remission. This means that their symptoms will stop.
If SLE is caused by the c-MYC gene mutation, you may stay in remission.
Your doctor can give you tips on how to manage your symptoms. But there’s no cure for SLE.
What is the outlook?
The outlook for people with SLE depends on how quickly they get treatment. With early treatment, most people with SLE go into remission.
If you don’t get treatment, your long-term outlook depends on the cause of your SLE.
If the cause of your SLE is related to the c-MYC gene mutation, your outlook will depend on how quickly you get treatment for your c-MYC gene mutation.
If treatment can’t stop your symptoms in your early stages, your long-term outlook will depend on the severity of your symptoms.
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