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Looking Out For The Warning Signs Of Lymphoma

Lymphoma, the cancer of the lymph system, is one of the hardest diseases to deal with. This is because up until now, no cure has been discovered to appease the fear of people at risk in this type of disease. Although there are some preventive measures that are advertised to prevent cancer cells from growing, nothing can stop it fully once it has multiplied and disabled the function of specific organs in the body.

Lymph system refers to a network of interconnected nodes and thin tubes which paves the way for the white blood cells to be carried out in the different parts of the body. White blood cells are very important since these helps fight infections. When these cells are struck by cancer cells, it will affect the way the white blood cells and will lead to its dysfunction.

Lymphoma targets a part of the lymph system and it does not refer to single cancer but to a group of many cancers that are related. As of today, there are about 30 types of lymphoma including “Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” “Malt Lymphoma,” “Cutaneous (Skin) Lymphoma,” “Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma,” “Burkitt Lymphoma,” and “Primary CNS Lymphoma” among others but these types can belong to two different categories including the Hodgkin Disease and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

According to experts, both categories may exhibit the same symptoms that are why the diagnosis and sets of examinations are done. But, the major difference in these two types will be noticeable depending on the person being affected.

Red flags of lymphoma

Lymphoma could be considered as a silent threat because it will take some time before its symptoms occur. And, when they do, they can be so common or “generic” thats why many people dont take it so seriously. Unless the symptoms become so noticeable and appear ever so often, that’s the only time when the person suffering from it would consider consulting a doctor.

If you are at risk, say belong to a family whose history include cancerspecifically cancer of the lymph systemthen it would be best to undergo a check up once you:

– feel painless lumps in the neck, armpits or groin. Experts say that this is the most commonand at timesthe ONLY one that is the symptom of lymphoma. Once you have enlarged nodes, it is the best time to undergo a check up. You can check if your nodes are enlarged when changing clothes or while taking a bath. You can also ask your sister or your partner to check it for you if you feel uncertain about the lumps. However, not all emerged lymph nodes are always signs of lymphoma so its better if you consult a physician to be sure.

– drastic weight loss. Once cancer cells attack the lymph system, the person will suddenly lose weight without apparent reason. In fact, once lymphoma remains undetected in the coming months, the person may lose as much as 15 to 20 pounds!

Other symptoms of lymphoma aside from enlarged lymph nodes and drastic weight loss may include continuous fever, sweating excessively specially during night time despite cold weather, and severe itchiness on almost all parts of the body which are results of special chemicals that are secreted by lymphoma cells.


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Knowing Your Cancer, Hodgkins disease

Hodgkin’s lymphoma or otherwise known as Hodgkin’s disease is one of two kinds of lymphoma or a cancer of the lymphatic system. Thomas Hodgkin was the first person who published documented studies of the disease hence the cancer was named after him. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is different from the other kind of lymphoma mainly through the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells in the cancer cells. These Reed-Sternberg cells can be seen through an open biopsy. In contrast, cells seen on non-Hodgkins lymphomas are mutated B-cells or T-cells.

It has been observed that Hodgkins lymphoma oftentimes begin to develop in the lymph nodes in the neck. This is again quite different from non-Hodgkins lymphoma which beings in different locations in the body. Nonetheless, since this is cancer were talking about, from the neck lymph node spreading to other lymph node groups, the lungs, spleen, and bone marrow is only natural and inevitable if no treatment is undergone. It seems also that Hodgkin’s lymphoma targets the immediate nearby lymphatic regions before leaving eventually the lymphatic system and spreading throughout other organs of the body.

According to studies, Hodgkins lymphoma is more likely to develop in young adolescents particularly those within the age range of 15 to 24 as well as those who are more than 60 years old. Again this is quite different from non-Hodgkins lymphoma which rarely happens in young people and instead is more common to people aged 60 years old and above.

In determining a diagnosis, one can actually self-diagnose at least initially. A doctors expertise is still needed, of course, for a more accurate diagnosis of the disease. The symptoms that have been reported are not that different from the other kinds of lymphoma. The presence of a painless lump in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin, recurrent fevers, unexplained weight loss, night sweats and itchy skins are among the warning signals of developing lymphoma.

Among the usual tests your doctors would require you to undertake includes blood tests to check abnormalities in the blood counts, blood chemistry, and abnormal erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), X-rays to look at the lymph nodes, computerized tomography or CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans of the chest, pelvis, and abdomen to see if the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.

Other scans that could be used to properly diagnose and determine the stage of the cancer are the positron emission tomography or PET scan which scans the cancer at a cellular level and the gallium scan which looks for radioactive intake of gallium which can mean the onset of the disease. There are other tests and procedures which doctors might conduct on you all in the aid of a proper and accurate diagnosis.

Hodgkins lymphoma has several sub-types, namely nodular sclerosis (NS) which hits the lower neck, chest and collarbone, lymphocyte predominance (LP) which is made of malignant L&H cells which have a “popcorn”, mixed cellularity (MC) which has lymph nodes that are usually contain Reed-Sternberg cells and inflammatory cells, lymphocyte depleted (LD), and nodular lymphocyte predominant (NLP).

As they say, knowing is half the battle. Knowing more about Hodgkins disease is a good thing. You can contribute fully to the decision making process if you know exactly the situation you are in.


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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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