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In the simplest of forms, lymphoma is cancer with the body's immune system. The cancer occurs in the lymphocytes, white blood cells which help your body protect against infection. When cell growth becomes unmanageable, lymphoma is present. The overabundance of white blood cells can collect in the body's lymph nodes or even the organs dedicated to battling infection, including the spleen or even the tonsils. Lymphocytes are classified as B cell or T cell, depending on the specific role they play in the immune system.
There's two basic types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin's disease, and non Hodgkin lymphoma. On the surface, the two types of cancer look very similar in their structure and their symptoms. They are usually only distinguishable when viewed via a microscope. The different types of cancer react to different lymphoma treatment, so it's essential to pick which type of lymphoma is happening in the body.
Hodgkin's disease occurs in most often in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35 as well as in people over 50. Research has shown that people who experience their first case of mononucleosis after childhood may develop Hodgkin's disease. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes that are not painful, chills and drenching sweating, fevers and total body itching.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) often happens in children, who can experience recurrences from the disease. However, with lymphoma treatment today over 75 % of the children who get NHL remain cancer-free not less than 5 years. In grown-ups, NHL is often seen in older white men. Unlike Hodgkin's disease, NHL has been connected to numerous risks. Some of those factors are genetic while others are environmental. Symptoms of NHL are extremely similar to the ones from Hodgkin's lymphoma, including swollen lymph nodes that are not painful, severe sweating and unexplained weight reduction.
Hodgkin's disease is diagnosed only through tissue biopsy of an enlarged lymph node that isn't painful. Further blood tests, biopsies and scans determine the best treatment plan. The lymphoma treatment options for Hodgkin's disease include the traditional cancer treatment plan of chemotherapy and radiation. In certain cases, a stem cell transplant may be required.
NHL diagnosis also requires a biopsy of a lymph node that's enlarged but not painful. Like As in Hodgkin's disease diagnosis, further testing, including x-rays, scans and even a spinal tap will determine how far advanced the cancer is. Chemotherapy and radiation are the conventional methods of treatment, although the use of monoclonal antibodies is being used more often today.
Recent studies have shown that a diet comprised of more vegetables and fruit and fewer animal fat can reduce the risk of contracting NHL, the lymphoma using the high number of risks. Just as scientific studies are showing that poor eating choices and obesity can lead to other cancers, for example colon or pancreatic cancer, NHL is affected by the life-style choices people make. Doctors are recommending that individuals remove the extra fat from their diets, stay physically active and lose weight.
While taking these steps won't guarantee that the person will never contract NHL, it is a good regimen to follow along with to help increase the chances that he won't have to deal with the difficult decisions surrounding lymphoma treatment. Eating well balanced meals and staying active can extend the length as well as the quality of his life.
Fred Lannister - About Author:
For those with Lymphoma finding lymphoma treatment options can be difficult. Visit NebraskaMed.com for all their treatment options, including treatment for heart disease.
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