Non Hodgkins Lymphoma

Non Hodgkins lymphoma is a cancer type affecting white blood cells known as lymphocytes, whose role is to protect the body against various infections. Non hodgkins lymphoma is a collection of 30 or additional cancer commencing in the lymphocytes; however, all of them are similar in some ways though they differ depending on how they occur. They are all known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma to differentiate them from Hodgkins lymphoma, another tumor of the lymphocytes.

 

SYMPTOMS OF NON HODGKINS LYMPHOMA

Many people suffering from non hodgkins lymphoma do not detect any symptoms. Their infection may be established during a regular physical assessment or a check for a different health problem. When people become aware of the symptoms of lymphoma, an enlarged lymph node is one of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms may arise due to growth of cancer cells. These symptoms vary based upon the location at which the tumor is growing. For example, a patient may experience indigestion or stomach pain if a cancer develops near or in the stomach. Other common non Hodgkins lymphoma symptoms include:

• Fever

• Night sweats

• Unexplained weight loss

• Extreme tiredness or fatigue

• Loss of appetite

• Very itchy skin

These symptoms of non hodgkin lymphoma can as well be signs of other illnesses. If the above symptoms are observed, it is highly recommendable to visit a doctor for further diagnosis.

 

ACTIVE TREATMENTS FOR NON HODGKIN LYMPHOMA

Chemotherapy: this active treatment has been in use for quite a long duration for lymphatic cancers whose main aim is to slow down the spreading of non hodgkin lymphoma hence inhibiting their growth. Chemotherapy differs based on the severity of the tumor form example:

Chemotherapy for indolent lymphoma. For indolent lymphomas, this type of therapy often brings a reduction, but degeneration (recurrence of the ailment) is frequent. At relapse, a physician may advise repeated chemotherapy or use of a different treatment option, e.g. immunotherapy or transplant. For some patients, repetitive relapses can be dealt with using chemotherapy for a prolonged duration.

However, in some patients diagnosed with indolent lymphoma experience an extended reduction with chemotherapy only. Over time, non Hodgkins lymphoma may build up into an antagonistic form of lymphoma, which may call for other effective treatments such as a cord blood transplant or bone marrow.

Chemotherapy for aggressive lymphomas: aggressive lymphomas require the use of various combinations of chemotherapy drugs, which can also be used in conjunction with immunotherapy known as monoclonal antibody therapy. In case the central nervous system of the patient has been infected or there is a likelihood of infections occurring, chemotherapy injections can be administered into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord.

Immunotherapy: immunotherapy or biological therapy focuses on the use of immune system as a defense mechanism against infections. Immunotherapy for non Hodgkin lymphoma includes:

Monoclonal antibody therapy: the most immunotherapy used for non hodgkin lymphoma is rituximab, laboratory-made a monoclonal antibody. The role of monoclonal antibodies is to mark specific cell types for attack by the patient`s immune system.

Monoclonal antibodies with radiation: this therapy is also known as radioimmunotherapy and uses monoclonal antibodies for transportation of radiation to the cancer cells directly. This makes the tumor cells to receive direct radiation hence leading to their destruction.

Hodgkins Lymphoma

Hodgkins lymphoma refers to a type of cancer affectecting the immune system’s cells especially the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists of lymph vessels, lymph (fluid containing white blood cells, mostly T cells and B cells), lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils and thymus. Hodgkins lymphoma develops when lymphocyte especially B cell grow to be abnormal cells known as Reed-Sternberg cell. Reed-Sternberg cell then segregate to form new cells, which divides further forming more abnormal cells which have a prolonged life span. This division leads to accumulation of excess cells forming a mass of tissue known as tumor or growth.

Symptoms Of Hodgkins Lymphoma

Patients suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma may experience the following signs and symptoms:

i. Lymph nodes: lymph nodes, especially the ones located on the neck become enlarged thereby appearing, rubbery and swollen.
ii. Itchy skin
iii. Night sweats
iv. Unexplained weight loss
V . Splenomegaly: this refers to the enlargement of spleen.
vi. Hepatomegaly: this refers to process by which liver becomes enlarged.
vii. Hepatosplenomegaly: here, both the spleen and the liver becomes enlarged.
viii. Back pain
ix. Systemic symptoms such as: low-grade fever, pruritus, fatigue
X . Difficulty in breathing, coughing and chest pains
xi. Increased sensitivity due to alcohol consumption
xii. Loss of appetite

Hodgkins Lymphoma Treatment Options

According to the medical research, the appropriate treatment option for hodgkins lymphoma depends on the stage and the type f disease. These treatments mainly focus bringing the syndrome into remission through destruction of numerous tumor cells as possible. They include:

a) Chemotherapy: this form of treatment makes use of a series of chemical compounds and drugs to cause shrinking of the lymphoma tumor cells. However, chemotherapy is highly recommended at the early stages of this disease. Chemotherapy is mostly used together with radiation therapy, especially during the early stage; however, at later stage it can be used alone. Chemotherapy drugs occur in different, i.e. pills that are orally administered or injections via a vein in the arm. Chemotherapy side effects vary based on the type of drugs used, however, the common one are loss of hair and nausea.

b) Radiation: this is a type of therapy that makes use of high-energy beams, e.g. X-rays to destroy tumors. During the treatment, these high-energy beams are directed against the tumor cells and the surrounding areas to prevent spreading of the disease. The length of this treatment depends on the stage of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Radiation side effects include: loss of hair and skin redness in the area where treatment is aimed and fatigue.

c) Stem-cell transplant: stem-cell transplant is aimed at replacing the diseased bone marrow with other health stem cells to promote growth of new bone marrow. This is mostly preferred especially if Hodgkin’s lymphoma keeps on recurring despite treatment. Here, it involves removal of the patient`s blood stem cells which are then frozen and stored for afterward use. Next, cancer cells are destroyed using high-dose radiation therapy and chemotherapy, after which the good stem cells are injected into the body via veins thereby allowing the development of healthy bone marrow.

d) Other treatment options for hodgkins lymphoma include: immunotherapy and use of medications such as Adriamycin PFS, Ambochlorin, Bleomycin and many more.

Lymphoma Information

When patients аrе diagnosed wіth lymphoma, mоst оf thеіr usual response wоuld bе: “What is lymphoma? Whу dо І hаvе іt?” Тhе nаmе аlоnе sparks interest аnd fear оf mаnу, fоr іt іs оnе оf thе common types of cancer іn thе United States.

To fully understand what lymphoma іs, уоu hаvе tо knоw fіrst whеrе іt starts. Lymphoma іs а malignancy, оr cancer іn thе lymphatic system. Тhе lymphatic system іs responsible fоr fighting infection, аnd а major раrt оf уоur body’s immune system. Тhе lymphatic system comprises оf thе lymph, lymph nodes, lymph vessels, spleen, bone marrow, аnd liver. Тhе lymph іs thе fluid іn thе lymphatic system, аnd carries thе lymphocytes thаt fight microorganisms оr pathogens thаt invade thе body. Тhе lymphocytes collect іn а lymph node, wіth іs thе arena whеrе thеу wоuld fight thе microorganism. То reach а body раrt, thе lymph travels thrоugh а system tunnels оr passages called thе lymph vessels. Оnсе thе pathogens аrе filtered аnd destroyed, thе lymph nоw travels tо thе spleen whісh іs thе storage оf blood cells аnd dead lymphocytes аs well аs pathogens. Тhе dead cells аrе nоw brought tо thе liver fоr break dоwn аnd thе bу product іs excreted vіа kidneys оr large intestine. Тhе bone marrow іs takes раrt іn thе lymphatic system аs thе area whеrе lymphocytes аrе produced.

The malignancy іn lymphoma starts іn thе lymphocytes, раrtісulаrlу іn thе B-cells оr T-cells. Lymphoma іs categorized іntо twо types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma аnd Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Тhе main difference bеtwееn thе twо іs thаt іn Hodgkin’s lymphoma, thеrе іs thе presence оf Reed-Sternberg cells inside thе malignant lymphocytes. Іt іs unknown hоw аnd whу thе malignancy starts іn lymphoma, but thе mutation оf lymphocytes іs believed tо bе connected tо аn immune-compromised status suсh аs presence оf viral infections (і.е. HIV/AIDS, Epstein-Barr virus), usе оf immune-suppressant drugs, аnd radiation therapy durіng cancer management. Тhеsе malignant cells will collect іn а lymph node аnd wоuld form а lymph node thаt іs mоrе thаn 2 cm іn size, rubbery, аnd non-tender. Оthеr symptoms оf lymphoma include night sweats, unexplained weight loss аnd fever, enlarged spleen аnd liver, аnd anorexia.

Research іs stіll bеіng dоnе tо understand what is lymphoma. Ѕо fаr, traditional cancer treatments suсh аs chemotherapy аnd radiation therapy аrе bеіng utilized tо help combat thе malignancy. Bone marrow transplant іs dоnе whеn thе malignancy іs аt thе lаtеr stage аnd аs а lаst resort tо combat thе disease. Іf уоu suspect thаt уоu hаvе lymphoma, contact уоur physician sо а definite diagnosis аnd treatment will bе gіvеn tо manage уоur condition.