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The Types of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Lymphomas are cancers of the lymph system which ironically is part of the bodys defense mechanism to fight off infections and diseases. But sometimes the abnormal growth of the healthy lymphatic cells causes the tissues to mass up creating tumors and eventually becoming cancer cells. If left untreated, the cancer cells can easily break away from the tissues and begin infecting other parts of the lymphatic system and eventually moving to other organs of the body. There are essentially two kinds of lymphomas, the Hodgkins lymphoma and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Hodgkins lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. Other lymphomas do not contain these cells so the rest of the lymphomas were classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or NHL. There are a number of sub-types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Each are quite distinct targeting specific age groups aside from having unique forms.

One kind of NHL is the lymphoblastic lymphoma or LBL which commonly occurs in children. In fact about 30% of documented cases of lymphomas in children have been classified as lymphoblastic lymphomas. LBL is very aggressive kind of NHL and has caused quite a number of deaths in the past. But because of modern medicine and treatment techniques, LBL patients have better odds of surviving the ordeal.

Unlike LBL, the diffuse histiocytic lymphoma type or DHL is a slow growing cancer. And because it is slow-growing the cancer is quite hard to detect. Also, there are times where the cancer reappears after treatment.

Another kind of NHL appears closer to the bodys surface. The cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or CTLC is a kind of lymphoma that affects the skin. What happens is that the white blood cells of the skin become cancerous. At first, the signs are dry, scaly skin with red or dark patches. These areas of the skin also itch a lot. But as the cancer cells continue to grow, the skin will develop highly noticeable tumors. Eventually the cancer cells enter the blood stream and spreads all over the body which soon infects other tissues and organs.

Although not common, the mantle cell lymphoma is another kind of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This cancer borders on being rare since only an estimated 5% of people diagnosed with NHL have it. It seems that the cancer is more likely to occur in men 50 years old and older. The cancer starts off as a slow growing lymphoma but can suddenly become aggressive in later stages.

Doctors have made 4 classifications or stages of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which basically indicates how fast and how far the cancer cells have spread. Stage 1 is when the cancer cells are grouped in lymph node or organ of the body. In stage 2 the cancer has spread to two or more groups of lymph nodes or organs on the same side of your diaphragm. Stage 3 is where the cancer cells have infected organs on both sides of the diaphragm and finally stage 4 is when the different types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma have gone beyond the lymphatic system and infecting other organs like the liver, bones, and lungs.


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Understanding Lymphoma

Through the years lymphoma, which is the cancer of the lymph system, has been one of the diseases that many people die of. This can be attributed to the fact many people suffer from it but remain undiagnosed until the cancer has reached it critical stage.

As defined, cancer refers to a condition wherein several the cells in a person’s own body behave in a very abnormal manner. What makes diseases caused by cancer cells hard to treat is that the cells multiply and affects how the specific organ works. In the case of lymphoma, the organ that is greatly affected is the lymph system which will eventually disable it.

How the disease develops

Lymphoma is the type of cancer that usually targets all or specific parts of the lymph system. This is composed of network thin tubes and nodes that are interconnected and makes possible for the white blood cells to be carried.

Experts say that these cells play a very important role in any individual’s well being because it is responsible for fighting infections in the body. When a “lymphocyte” which refers to a type of white blood cell that composes a part of the lymph system has cancer cells, this cancerous cell is expected to grow in number. Once it has multiplied, this results to what we call “lymphoma.”

Experts say that lymphoma does not only refer to a “single cancer” but it’s also synonymous to a group of many cancers that are connected. Currently, there are over 25 types of lymphoma but are categorized into twothe Hodgkin Disease and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Both may have the similar symptoms, thus, same sets of tests and diagnoses could be done. However, the differences in these two types are evident depending on the way the body of the person affected reacts.

Aside from Hodgkin Disease and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, other types of lymphoma include the “Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” “Malt Lymphoma,” “Cutaneous (Skin) Lymphoma,” “Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma,” “Burkitt Lymphoma,” and the “primary CNS Lymphoma,” among others.

When to know when you have lymphoma

The most common warning sign for this type of cancer is the unusual enlargement of the lymph nodes. This will be the most noticeable sign since this is placed in the groin, neck or armpits. Since lymphoma is caused by the cancer cells, it can also occur in other organs in the body as well. Experts say that lymphoma can grow in other organs of the body when lymph tissues pass through other organs carried out by the white blood cells.

Indeed, health is wealth. This is why this should be one of the most important things that people should pay attention to. If you are one of those who feel that are at risk for lymphoma, some of the signs to watch out for aside from painless lumps in the neck, armpits or groin would include drastic weight loss, fever, excessive sweating especially at night time, itchiness that can be felt all over the body, the loss of appetite, exhaustion or a feeling of weakness all throughout the day, and breathlessness combined with swollen neck and face.


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