Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph tissue in the body found in lymph nodes, the spleen, and other organs vital in the immune system. Lymphoma can either affect the B or T-cells in the lymph tissue.

Statistics:
  • There are over 30 types of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • 85% of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma affects the B-cells of the immune system
  • Each year, 65,000 people are diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • 90% of those 65,000 people are adults
  • Those most at risk of developing the cancer are people who have had organ transplants or have the HIV virus (HIV weakens the immune system

There are many types of Non-Hodgkin's Lmyphoma, but these are some of the most common:

  1. Diffuse Large-B-Cell Lymphoma- This aggressive, fast growing cancer targets the B-cells in the immune system
  2. Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia- This cancer cause a build up of white blood cells in the lymph nodes. It is chronic when this build up is also found in the bloodstream and bone marrow. Both variations of the cancer are slow growing.
  3. Marginal Zone Lymphoma's- These lymphoma's are often furthere categorized into 3 other lymphoma's: Extranodal Marginal Zone B-Cell Lymphoma (Cancer does not originate in the lymph nodes), Nodal Marginal Lymphoma (Cancer directly begins in the lymph nodes), and Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma (cancer begins in the spleen and bone marrow


Risk Factors:

  • Old Age
  • Consuming immune-suppressants
  • The HIV and Epstein Barr virus are often linked to this lmyphoma
  • Exposure to farming chemicals


Symptoms:
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck, under the arms, and in the groin
  • weight loss
  • fever and chills
  • night sweats
  • loss of appetite

Since these Lymphomas often originate in the blood and are often slow growing cancer, it is usually found when patients are being treated for something else. These typical symptoms are often written off as something else besides cancer.

Diagnosis:
Stage I: Cancer is present in only one lymph node
Stage II: Cancer in two or more lymph nodes
Stage III: Cancer present above and below the diaphragm
Stage IV: Cancer is present throughout the lymph system and in one or more organs

-Radiation Therapy is usually used when the cancer is more localized (Stages I and II)
  • Since it is a cancer of the lymph system and is often blood-borne, Chemotherapy is the most common form of treatment
  • A drug called Rituxan is often used to treat B-cell Lymphoma. This is basically using monoclonal antibodies
  • A new technique known as adoptive T-Cell Immunotherapy is among the forefront of new treatment. Basically, a patients T-cells are taken and scientists insert a gene into them to kill the lymphoma cells

Resources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001607/
http://www.nonhodgkinsztoa.com/
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/non-hodgkin
http://www.americancancerfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=39&Itemid=41&gclid=COSi3P6Jmq4CFcjc4Aod2BKvHQ
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/DS00350/DSECTION=risk-factors




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