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Treatment for Lymphoma

It is logically difficult for someone who has just been diagnosed with lymphoma to truly understand the various treatment options available. It is a common knowledge that there are about 30 different kinds of lymphoma. Thus, there could be numerous treatment options available. A single type of the disease could call for a specific treatment option.

Medical supervision is absolutely a must following detection of lymphoma symptoms. You need to first ascertain how serious the condition is. Lymphoma, once detected, should be immediately and accordingly treated. Remember to take medical treatment as per your doctors advice. There are many options available, as mentioned, but there are several that usually stand out. There are four major types of lymphoma treatment available, namely, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem cell or bone marrow transplant, and antibody therapy.

Chemotherapy involves the administration or application of drugs as infusions into the veins of the patients. Chemotherapy could also be taken in the form of oral pills. The most common types of chemotherapy for lymphoma are R-CHOP, CHOP, and ABVD. On the other hand, radiotherapy uses high-energy light rays that are specially and strategically directed at the cancer cells targeted. This form of therapy could be delivered even over small body areas as in involved field radiation or over large areas as in extended field radiation.

Stem cell or bone marrow transplant uses high dosage of radiation or chemotherapy to specifically kill targeted cancer cells. The bone marrow is saved during the process through transplantation of a new one or through transplantation of stem cells. Lastly, antibody therapy, also known as biological therapy, uses specific drugs to target special molecules across the cancer cells surfaces.

Hodgkins lymphoma is often treated using radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The treatment options are usually based on the current stage of lymphoma and on several prognostic factors. Chemotherapy is more used in all patients regardless of stage. Radiation may be used only during the early stages of the condition.

There are almost 25 various kinds of non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL). Several of them behave differently compared to others. Treatment used depends on the specific type as well as observable behavior of the NHL. Chemotherapy is the most popular. Antibody therapy and/or radiation therapy may only be added to complement chemotherapy for additional benefits.

Home remedies could also be tried to cure this disease, especially after early detection. Such remedies should only be considered as secondary only to medical treatments against lymphoma. The best natural remedy is to strategically detoxify your body. To do so, you have to drink lots of water and fruit juices. Avoid intake of alcohol and caffeine. There are foods that enhance the detoxification process like carrots, beets, mushrooms, and broccoli. During the process strictly avoid consumption of sugars, saturated fats, and refined foods.

Fruits and vegetables could be best as natural treatments against lymphoma. These include pears, apples, parsley, and lettuce. These foods detoxify the body as well and at the same time aid quick cleansing of your bodys lymphatic system. Chinese herbs like codonopsis and ginseng could also be tried.


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Treating Lymphoma: The Various Procedures

Cancer is a word that most of us dread to hear from our doctors. We know that its something that should not be taken lightly, plus we cant even count how many times we have seen in the movies and television about the difficulties of the disease and more often than not the sad ending that follows. So hearing you have cancer of the lymph cells, which what lymphoma really is, is more than enough to give you and your family a scare. Treating lymphoma is never easy both physically and mentally for the patient. Having the full support of the family is a good thing to have in situations like these.

Lymphoma develops when the lymph cells begin to multiply quickly beyond what is normal. This abnormal growth soon forms tumors. These lymph cells are found in blood and lymph nodes thus with the grown of the cancer cells it is only natural that the lymph nodes enlarge and manifests as painless lumps in the neck, armpits or groin.

There are two main types of lymphoma. The most common one is the Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This type is distinguished from the rest by the presence of the Reed-Sternberg cell. The spread of the cancer cells in Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more predictable and often quite limited unlike the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas where cancer cells develop first in other organs before spreading into the lymph nodes. The non-Hodgkins types of lymphomas are classified according low-grade, intermediate-grade or high-grade lymphomas which basically is based on how quickly the cancer cells spread.

Because of the number of types of lymphomas, the treatments vary. Often the treatments are combinations of various therapies and procedures. It is normal to have a number of treatments for a single lymphoma case. Once the type of lymphoma has been diagnosed and identified, the next step is to determine what stage it is in now. The kinds and extent of treatment of the cancer is dependent on the age of the patient and the degree or stage of the lymphoma. The treatment methods are either through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, antibody therapy (or biological therapy) and bone-marrow or stem cell transplantation. Again, combining one or two of these treatment methods is possible to address the present condition of a patient.

Chemotherapy uses various drugs to kill the tumor or cancer cells. The drugs can be taken orally or through injection. The advantage of using chemotherapy is that the drugs do not cause that much damage to the nearby normal and healthy cells. Radiotherapy, on the other hand, uses X-rays to kill the tumor cells. The rays damage the DNA of the cancer cells and because the DNA is damaged the cancer cells are unable to multiply which halts that growth of the cancer. Nearby healthy cells are damaged from the radiation bombardment so the goal in radiotherapy is minimize the damage to nearby, healthy cells. That is why those who undergo radiotherapy is scheduled to receive small doses of radiation at a time to lessen the damage to the cells.

Another treatment is the antibody therapy which uses antibodies which target unique molecules of a cancer cell. This attack from the antibody will eventually kill the cancer cells. And finally, the last way of treating lymphoma is by bone marrow or stem cell transplantations. These are medical procedures where the stem cells that were destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are replaced through surgery.


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The Various Stages and Common Symptoms of Lymphoma

The cancer that is known as lymphoma can be clearly understood through the staging process. This refers to how the sickness is categorized based on how big it is and what parts of the body has already been affected or healed. The worse the outcome seems to be, the higher the stage of the disease could be. There are four parts or stages that the disease will be grouped into and this can only be done after the patient has undergone through series of tests and scans to rule out the body affected organs and body parts.

To give you an idea about the various stages that this illness is categorized, here are the basic points about each phase.

Stage one. At this stage, the illness has only been determined to be present at a group of lymph nodes. There are also cases wherein the illness was found in one organ, which is not part of the lymph system, but this kind of case is quite rare.

Stage two. The cancer is now seen in two or even more groups of the lymph nodes that can be found on the similar side as with the diaphragm, which is a lean kind of muscle that is located under the lungs. The diaphragm helps a person to breathe easily. This also separates the chest area from the abdomen.

Stage three. The cancer at this stage can be found at the groups of lymph nodes that are situated on both sides of the diaphragm. There are some cases wherein the adjacent organs are also involved. This also becomes part of stage III when a spleen is seen after the sickness has been detected.

Stage four. This is the terminal stage wherein the lung substance is already affected. This is also the phase when the bone marrow and liver are involved in the disease as well as the other organs that are far from the originally infected parts.

There are many other factors that can affect the results of the treatments that are done with people that are suffering from the disease, like the age of the patient and the size of the illness. If you are in the advanced stage of this sickness, you must not lose hope because there are many cases that have been healed eventually even after suffering from the higher stages.

From the early signs or when you are starting to feel like there is something wrong, do not hesitate and consult with a doctor. To help you find out if you have the symptoms that are related with the disease, here are some of the most common ones. The most common and also the most important symptoms are the lumps on your neck, groin and armpits. These are painless, which is why there are many people who disregard these easily and only start seeking help when other symptoms start to come up.

The other symptoms that you may feel once you have the enlarged lymph nodes include loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, excessive sweating, especially at night and itchiness. You may also feel weak as the cancer cells of the lymphoma start spreading and grow bigger.


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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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