Lymphoma is a blood cancer that happens in the lymph system. This cancer happens when the white blood cells known as lymphocytes which help to fight infections in the body become out of control. They split in an abnormal way or do not die when they should be. Lymphocytes are the infection fighting cells present in our immune system that grow on a menacing rate in the condition of Lymphoma.
Children and young people under the age of 18 are given different treatment as compared to adults. Hodgkin Lymphoma occurs basically in early adulthood (15-40). Mostly it is seen in people in the age group of 20’s or late adulthood of 50’s. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma occurs in people older than 60’s. Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer in the United States. Statistically, it is the seventh most common form of cancer amongst adults and 3rd most common one in children. Lymphoma has the tendency to occur in any age.
If you happen to travel for the treatment of Lymphoma, you would have to carefully plan out your travel expenses and the itinerary. You have to decide for the treatment center and hotels to stay for the treatment of Lymphoma. Be sure to take up the appointment in advance for the treatment of Lymphoma, so that you do not face any trouble.
If you already know where you will be going for the treatment of Lymphoma, or a consultation or a second opinion then click here to plan your travel. Otherwise, click here to get the information about facilities that specialize in Lymphoma.
If you cannot afford travel for medical treatment, please consult our directory of charitable organizations that can help arrange no-cost transportation for you.
For more information: (links to the section below)
- About Lymphoma
- Types of Lymphoma
- Where to go for Lymphoma?
- Treatment of Lymphoma
- Risks associated with Lymphoma
- Who can go for the treatment?
Lymphoma is a cancer that initiates in the cells of the body’s immune system. The cancer starts in the white blood cells known as lymphocytes. As this cancer spreads through the different parts of the body and through the blood stream, so it can spread easily.
The lymph system is a part of the immune system that assists the body to fight infections and diseases. Because of the tendency of lymph system to be present throughout the body, the cancer can spread in any part of the body.
The lymphatic system runs all through the body and consists of lymph nodes along with the other parts of the lymphatic system such as thymus and spleen. Lymph nodes are present inside your body mostly in groupings.
If a person is suffering from Lymphoma, the abnormally multiplied lymphocytes collect in the lymph nodes of certain areas like armpits, neck or groin. Nevertheless, abnormal lymphocytes can collect in almost any part of your body like spleen or lungs. Rarely, Lymphoma can be extra-nodal that implies that the cancer can spread outside the areas of lymphatic system.
The symptoms of Lymphoma depend upon the area of the body it affects. Just like other cancers, Lymphoma affects the function of the tissue involved. Each type of Lymphoma grows at a different rate and responds to the treatment very differently.
Types of Lymphoma
There are many subtypes of the forms of Lymphoma but the two main types of Lymphoma are Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Most of the people with Hodgkin Lymphoma have the classic type where there are abnormally large lymphocytes in the lymph nodes that are known as Reed-Sternberg cells. This is usually a curable form of Lymphoma. In Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the cells grow abnormally and spread to other parts of the lymphatic system. In this condition, the lymph nodes around the area of neck, armpits or groin swell.
The advancement in the medical science and timely diagnosis of Hodgkin Lymphoma has given a hope for complete recovery of the patients. Medically, it is known that Hodgkin Lymphoma occurs when the infection fighting cell called B-Cell develops a mutation in its DNA. The mutation makes sure that the cell be dividing rapidly and continues living when a healthy cell dies. This in turn results in overcrowding of abnormal B cells that gather in the lymphatic system where they overpower the healthy cells and the outcome would be Hodgkin Lymphoma. As the cells multiply, it limits the body’s ability to fight the infections around the specific area that they incorporate in.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma exists in the cells of lymphatic system or immune system.There is no such data on how NHL occurs. The only explanation that medical science offers is that it occurs only when body produces a lot of abnormal lymphocytes.
In NHL, either B or T cells are involved in the process. B cells are the ones that produce antibodies to fight the infections inside the body. T cells are the ones that kill the antibodies directly. It is very rare that NHL would be initiated within T cells.
The following are the subtypes of NHL:
- Burkitt’s lymphoma- This Lymphoma has further two types. The African type closely related with an infection along with the Epstein-Barr virus and the non-African one that is not linked to the virus.
- Cutaneous lymphoma- This form of Lymphoma involves the skin and can be classified as T-cell Lymphoma or less commonly known as B-cell Lymphoma. This lymphoma comprises of 4% of the cases of NHL.
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma- This is the most common type of Lymphoma and records up to 30% of the cases of NHL. If it’s not treated swiftly then it can turn out to be a fatal one.
- Follicular lymphoma- There is a detailed growth pattern when viewed under the microscope and are generally advanced at the time of the diagnosis.
- Lymphoblastic lymphoma- It’s a rare form of Lymphoma that accounts for only 2% of the cases of NHL.
Where to go for Lymphoma?
In USA there are various facilities that can offer treatment for Lymphoma, if you have already determined your child’s symptoms from early stages. As there are more precautions and management rather than the treatment, quite many hospitals cater to the treatment of Lymphoma.
The following health care facilities would help you largely deal with the diagnosis and treatment of the syndrome:
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All-purpose health-care providers hardly ever commence the sole care of a cancer patient. The majority of cancer patients be given ongoing care from oncologists however, they can be in fact be referred to more than one oncologist if there is any question about the disease. Patients are always encouraged to gain second opinions if the situation warrants this approach.
For second opinions or first diagnosis, you might have to travel out of your State, do you have to research about the health care facilities that has a proper team of oncologists catering to the patient’s requirements.
There over 50 types of Lymphoma and every cancer is different from other and has differentiated symptoms. The symptoms vary depending upon which type it is and where does it develop in the body. Most of the symptoms related to Lymphoma can be present in other much common illnesses as well. It shows that as compared to other kinds of cancers, this illness is hard to diagnose for the doctors.
Treatment of Lymphoma
The treatment of cancer has come afar by many years. Researchers have been working rigorously on the treatment of all cancers like Lymphoma and now know what treatment is to be given and when. One’s treatment is planned individually and according to the symptoms that one infuses. The treatment for Lymphoma is planned and managed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals where one professional is responsible for your overall treatment.
- Chemotheraphy- This is a well-known cancer cure all around the globe. This cure uses powerful drugs to kill cancerous cells. Chemotheraphy is a systematic treatment where the drugs flow throughout the body through blood vessels. It is given in a pill form but it is a liquid infused directly into the bloodstream through a vein. Unfortunately, there have been many side effects accounted for this therapy as it has the tendency to affect the healthy cells as well.
- Radiation Therapy-In this method, radiation or X-rays are used to treat cancer. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. The therapy is used while targeting areas that have tumor masses. This treatment needs advanced planning so as to save other tissues and cells from harm. There are side effects associated with this therapy too. The side effects are dependent upon where the rays are administered and can include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and skin problems.
- Stem Cell Transplantation- This kind of transplantation is suggested when the cancer hits back does not respond to the treatment nor has a high risk of coming back. In stem cell transplantation, a higher dose of chemotherapy is given in order to cure the patient. Stem cells are the early stage blood cells that develop in bone marrow. When stem cells are infused into your system like blood transfusion, then there are chances that the higher dosage of chemotherapy can save the bone marrow from the harm. Stem cells have the tendency to be stored at low temperatures for many years until the time that they are needed.
Risks associated with Lymphoma
There are many things that are thought to be increasing the risk of developing Lymphoma. Some of the common risk factors of Lymphoma include weakened immune system, family history, exposure to chemicals like benzene and insecticides, radiation exposure, HIV infection or chronic infection with HCV.
- Some people are at risk of Lymphoma because of their weakened immune system. An overactive immune system can often lead to the increased risk of developing Lymphoma.
- Many Lymphoma cases are related to certain infections in their bodies. Some viruses live in the lymphatic cells and cause them to divide and grow like an HIV infection.
- Family history is not a very effective concern for Lymphoma. It is very unlikely that a person with Lymphoma would pass it down to his family or relatives. There is still a slightly higher risk of developing the cancer with a family history.
- Factors like industry chemicals, pesticides and hair dyes are also looked upon as possible risk factors. People who work in these kinds of industries are likely to have a higher risk of developing cancer.
Who can go for the treatment?
In USA alone, about 72,240 new cases of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and 8,260 new cases of Hodgkin Lymphomawere expected to be diagnosed in the year 2017. Almost 20,140 deaths due to NHL were expected in 2017, as well as 1,070 deaths due to HL, with the survival rate of all except the most advanced cases of Hodgkin Lymphomahigher than that of other lymphomas.
A few of the symptoms of Lymphoma are considered local that means that they are in and around Lymphoma at just one place. Others are known to be systematic that implies that the symptoms are inside the whole body. Everyone is different and you might experience a symptom in a varied method but sometimes, the affected person may not feel any symptom at all.
- Swollen Lypmh Nodes- The most common sign of Lymphoma is a lump or several lumps. The lumps are swollen lymph nodes and are usually painless.
- Fatigue- The feeling of always being tired is not normal. It means that you are exhausted after doing every little work for no obvious reason.
- Unexplained Weight Loss- If you are losing a lot of weight without dieting or exercising then it is not normal and you should consult your doctor.
- Sweating- The tendency of Lymphoma is to cause night sweats that is also known as drenching and can also happen during the day.
- Itching- Itching without any rash can be very troublesome especially in hot weather.
- Chest Symptoms- The swollen lymph nodes pressurize lung tissue that can result in breathing problems and lead to constant coughing.