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How Doctors Test for Lymphoma

In all kinds of diseases and ailments knowing what you have exactly can mean life and death. Identifying, categorizing and understanding your current condition allow doctors to determine the proper and most effective means of making you better. Without proper diagnosis, the prescribed treatment can be useless and at times even prove to be deadly. In the case of lymphoma, one would encounter terms like biopsy, bone marrow examination, blood tests, spinal tap and scans which are some of the basic procedures employed by medical experts to determine or confirm the presence of lymphoma.

Usually, the very first thing that helps determine if one has lymphoma is self diagnosis. Those that observe enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin would more often than not trigger alarm bells in the their heads. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes and the immune system. As the cancer cells develop, a tumor is formed usually in the lymph nodes which manifests as painless lumps. Upon consultation, your doctor will issue a battery of tests to confirm if it is lymphoma and if it is indeed cancer determine what stage it is at to know the possible course of treatment.

A biopsy is usually the first test that your doctors will employ to confirm the presence of cancer in your lymph nodes. In a biopsy, a small sample of tissue cells is taken from the lump either through a needle or via surgery. The cells are then examined by a pathologist to confirm lymphoma cells and the diagnoses. By studying the sample cells, the can also determine the basic kind of lymphoma the patient has, whether its Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But to determine the subtle details, doctors revert to the procedure called as immunohistochemistry which simply means looking for the unique properties of the tumor cell surface through the application markers such as fluorescent dye, enzyme, or colloidal gold to accurately classify the tumor.

You doctor would most likely require you to undergo several blood tests. The blood samples would be examined closely to see the state of your red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets. These tests would also help determine if the cancer has affected your bodys way of producing blood. The blood tests could also show the condition of your kidneys and liver. And more importantly, the information gathered from the tests could serve as basic foundations for the kind of treatments or drugs that could be used for your speedy recovery.

Doctors might also require you to undergo a bone marrow test wherein a sample of the bone marrow is taken from your hip using a thin needle. It is a common procedure used to test for various cancers and other blood diseases. A spinal tap or lumbar puncture can also be ordered by your doctor in specific circumstances. This checks the fluid in your spinal cord and determines if any cancer cells have invaded the spine. This procedure involves inserting a thin needle at the lower part of your back and I can be quite painful and uncomfortable.

CT scans will also help determine where the tumors are exactly since it takes pictures of your body from different angles. An MRI scan, on the hand, will help determine if the cancer cells have spread to your nervous system or other body organs.

How doctors tests for lymphoma involves logical procedures whose main goal is finding out what exactly the patient has in order to determine what kinds of treatments would be used.


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All You Need to Know About Lymphoma

Whenever you get sick, whats the first thing that you do? Know what you have. Either its a simple fever or a complicated illness, the very first thing that you do is to gather information to find out your current condition. The same thing with lymphoma, whether you research things on your own or go to a doctor (although this should always be the case since self diagnosis can bring you only so far) for advice, your target is to get all you need know about the disease.

Lymphoma is basically a cancer of the lymphatic system. The system is composed of various nodes or glands situated in different places of our body. These glands are connected by vessels that carry the lymph fluid or the white blood cells which help fight diseases. As you might have remembered in your high school biology class, the white blood cells help fight the bacteria and diseases that enter our body. And because these glands are connected to each other, once lymphoma hits a gland, theres a good chance that the cancer cells spread throughout the body via the lymph vessels. You should know this fact out front: no cure has been discovered yet that would eliminate the disease. Nonetheless, there are new techniques, medicines and medical procedures that have brought more positive treatments for people with lymphoma.

There are two kinds of lymphoma, namely Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The first one, the Hodgkins disease owes its name to Thomas Hodgkin (1798-1866). He was the first one who published a paper about the disease. This kind of lymphoma is capable of spreading from one lymph node to another. It is also observed that people diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma has the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells which can only be detected by the aid of a microscope.

The other kind of lymphoma is the non-Hodgkin kind. This kind is described as having larger than normal lymph nodes and is accompanied by fever and weight loss. There are about 16 sub-types which do not fall under the conditions described by Hodgkins lymphoma. These sub-types are grouped according to aggressiveness which basically means the cancer cells are fast-growing. NHL lymphomas include chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), Burkitt lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and immunoblastic large cell lymphoma.

Treatment is either radiation therapy or chemotherapy. The age, sex and stage of the cancers development plays a role in determining the kind of treatment patients will undergo. Early detection is crucial. Most of the patients do survive the treatment especially if they have been diagnosed during the early stages of the lymphoma.

Some of the more common symptoms of lymphomas include painless swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck, underarm, or groin. People with lymphomas also might experience fever, tiredness, weight loss, itchiness, red patches on the skin, nausea, vomiting and sometimes abdominal pain.

Those with low-grade lymphomas will encounter a very slow growth of the cancer cells and will experience very few of the symptoms. The problem with low-grade lymphomas is that even though they respond well to chemotherapy, they oftentimes return and is considered incurable unlike high-grade lymphomas. With the latter, treatment involves chemotherapy, with or without radiation therapy.

Admittedly, the information above is not all that you need to know about lymphoma. There are more facts that you need to find out for yourself especially if you have been diagnosed with having lymphoma.


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Medical Tourism: The Procedure

Before you go to another country to receive treatment, it is important that you understand all the details of the trip first. The information you obtain should entail all the procedures to be done, as well as all the institutions and medical experts included in your care. This will ensure that you only get the highest quality treatment and that you stay protected against possible scams and other errors. Here is the typical process of medical tourism.

The Process

A provider of medical tourism should be consulted initially by patients looking for medical attention overseas. The patient should give complete medical reports, such as the local doctor’s diagnosis and recommendations, current condition, current ailment, medical background and other pertinent data. Certified consultants and medical experts will then advise the patient on which medical treatment is right for the problem.

The patient should also be informed about the details of the trip, such as the tourist destinations, estimated costs of care, hospitals and medical institutions included and the duration of the stay. The patient will be provided with recommendation letters to obtain a medical visa. After the patient signs agreements and consent bonds, the embassy will procure the documents and finalize the visa and passport for travel.

The provider will appoint a case executive to handle the patient once he reaches the country abroad. The provider will manage items like accommodations, transportation, tours and treatment. The patient can choose to stay longer abroad or immediately return home after treatment, depending on the doctor’s recommendations.

Finding the Organizations

The Trent International Accreditation Scheme is the main body handling standards of care in the United Kingdom and Hongkong, while the Joint Commission International (JCI) is responsible for monitoring health care standards and providers in the United States. It is important that the patient is informed about the involved medical institutions handling his case. The type of scheme may differ in terms of size, cost and intensity of marketing. Dual accreditation is also available in some very competent agencies.

Laws and Regulations

The patient should be informed about the various laws and regulations regarding his care and the procedure to be done. For example, fertility clinics or in-vitro fertilization are not allowed or are strictly regulated in some countries. The patient may choose to travel abroad to take advantage of some lenient policies. He should also be informed about other related stipulations once he returns to the United States or the UK. Patients should also be informed about current epidemics and other high risk nations that still harbour infectious diseases, such as malaria, TB and HIV.

Patients in the end have the final say as to the type of care they wish to receive, as well as the institution they choose to deal with. The patient has the right to refuse treatment. Patients can also stay longer if they want to extend their vacation. These individuals should be informed about the different risks and possible complications involved in the medical procedure to be done. Follow-up treatment can be done back in their home country.


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Cosmetic Surgery Abroad: What to Expect from Medical Tourism

Cosmetic surgery is one of the most common practices that medical tourists go for abroad. They wish to take advantage of the cheaper costs, modern technologies available and the opportunity to see new places. Before you get a package, you have to learn more about the possible risks and other options you have regarding the procedures. You can make the trip more convenient and easy by finding out the different features and requirements.

About Cost

When going for cosmetic surgery, you have to compare prices between countries and hospitals. Expect to pay 40% to 80% less than what you expect in the United States or United Kingdom. The cost will be determined by your current condition, the type of surgery and other special features. Of course, getting top quality accommodations and other features will also equate to a more expensive medical tourism package. You can get any type of procedure available in America, such as tummy tucks, liposuction, nose jobs, face lifts, breast augmentation, chin repair and many more.

The cost of tummy tucks in the States is around $8000 to $8500. You can get about 60% off, depending on the place and hospital. Breast augmentation will cost you around $6000 to $6500 in America, but getting it in Southeast Asia will only cost you about $2000 to $3000. Expect to spend around $8000 to $8500 for breast lifts in the States. If you plan to get it overseas, you can slash costs by 40% to 75%. Breast reduction will charge you about $8000 to $9000 in first world countries. However, if you choose to go for a medical tourism package, you will only be charged around $5000. Lap-band surgery in America costs around $18000, but getting it in Asia only costs around $6000 to $10000. You can also get liposuction in three various areas for only $5000, compared to the standard $8500 price tag in the United States.

Finding the Right Country

You have to familiarize yourself with the different options you have when it comes to picking the right destination. Read more about each country and determine which factors make it very competitive for medical tourism, specifically cosmetic surgery. Some nations are better known for their expertise at a particular procedure or two. For example, Thailand is highly recommended for its breast lifts and breast augmentation procedure. You can get excellent results when it comes to liposuction and tummy tucks in the Philippines. A lot of individuals travel to Jordan or Israel for lap-band surgery, facelifts and nose jobs.

Also ensure that the medical institution you are visiting is accredited by the JCI or Trent. Other accreditations will also help you make sure that you are dealing with competent and reliable professionals. Learn more about the available facilities and technology they have.

Final Tips

Doctors highly recommend that you get an insurance policy covering your treatment abroad, just in case you experience untoward incidents or are not fully satisfied with the results. There are policies available today covering traveling medical tourists. The coverage will include recovery period and follow-up procedures and surgeries if needed.


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