About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects lymphocytes, types of white blood cells in the lymphatic system. The main difference between Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin types of lymphoma are the types of cells involved. Hodgkin lymphoma cells specifically involve a type of abnormal cell known as the Reed-Sternberg cell.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma tends to be more common than Hodgkin lymphoma and is one of the most common types of cancer overall, comprising of about 4 percent of all cancer cases. It can occur at any age, affecting children and teens as well as those 65 and older.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma features several subtypes, including follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Causes and Risk Factors
Cancer is caused by a genetic mutation that results in the unregulated growth of certain cells (in this case, lymphocytes). As cells grow out of control, they can accumulate and form into masses known as tumors. Eventually, the cancer cells may spread into other parts of the body. Research and clinical trials are still necessary to determine what actually causes this genetic mutation.
While there are some risk factors, many people diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma present no known risk factors. Many people who have risk factors for the disease never develop it.
A family history of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may increase your risk of developing the cancerous disease yourself. Certain chemicals found in herbicides and insecticides have been linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Exposure to radiation may also increase your risk of developing NHL, among other cancers. A suppressed immune system has also been found to be a risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Certain viral and bacterial infections may also increase your risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including:
- Human herpes virus 8
- Human T-cell lymphotropic virus
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Common signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, or neck
- Chest pain, coughing, or breathing problems (flu- like symptoms)
- Night sweats
- Sudden, unintended weight loss
Diagnosis starts with a physical exam, during which your doctor can evaluate swelling in the lymph nodes, liver, or spleen. Urine and blood tests can help the doctor eliminate other conditions with similar symptoms, while imaging through a chest x-ray, CT scan, etc. allows the doctor to identify tumors. The doctor may also perform a lymph node biopsy for lab testing.
Staging processes allow the doctor to determine the severity and potential spread of the cancer cells. The stages for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are designated by the Roman numerals I to IV. The lower stages signify cancer that is confined, while higher stages show that the disease has spread to other parts of the body. These stages signify if the patient needs radiation therapy, natural treatment, chemotherapy, surgery, etc.
Alternative and Natural Treatments for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Cancer treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma usually involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other therapies involving drugs. While these treatments may be effective, they can take a toll on your body, leaving you physically and emotionally weak while preventing your immune system from operating at full strength.
That’s where alternative therapy and natural treatments come into play. At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide completely customized treatment plans using natural and alternative therapies that keep your body strong and comfortable. Our personnel work directly with you, allowing us to not only personalize your treatment, but also learn more about your life and your health needs. Contact Immunity Therapy Center today to learn more and to receive a custom treatment plan.
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