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According to statistics obtained from the American Cancer Society, Lymphoma makes up about 4 per cent of the known cancers today.
What is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in cells that fight infections to the immune system. These cells, called lymphocytes, are located in the lymph nodes, thymus, your spleen and other body parts, start to change and begin to grow uncontrollably.
The treatment options can vary depending on the stage and overall health of the person. Some of the most common treatments include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, therapy drugs, radiation, stem cell transplant or surgery.
There are other alternative treatments for lymphoma that can help control the progression of the disease and even reduce the size of tumours. While chemotherapy and radiation are the most common methods, natural therapies — acupuncture, ginger, and stress relief are a few that you can use alone or in combination with the traditional methods.
Who’s at Risk?
There are two types of lymphoma, Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s, however, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common. Unfortunately, there is no particular age group affected. It can happen to young teens, young adults and the elderly, people of 50 years of age.
While scientists still don’t have a defined cause for getting the cancer, there are some risk factors that can improve the chances of people acquiring the cancer. People with a diagnosis of AIDs received an organ transplant, or have an autoimmune disease or Hepatitis C, as well as people who worked with chemicals outdoors to kills weeds or bugs may have a higher risk.
Just as the name suggests, lymphoma symptoms can include swollen lymph nodes, mostly without any recurring pain, fever, loss of weight, reduced energy levels and night sweats. While having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have lymphoma. If you have several of the symptoms and they persist for more than a few weeks, it’s always in your best interest to see your doctor and let them run tests to figure out what’s going on.
Because there are no real defined symptoms specific to the cancer and much research is still needed on the subject, early detection can often be difficult. Once the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, the survival rate reduces. There are four stages ranging from mild to severe, and if the cancer becomes identified early enough some people will completely recover. However, many people live with lymphoma, under the supervision of specialists and periodic treatments. Roughly 70% of people diagnosed will survive 5 years and nearly 60% of those will survive 10 years. As with any disease, early detection is important.
Regardless of the treatment options, the team of specialists and the patient decide on, they will still experience pain and fatigue. The good news is that there are a number of options when it comes to natural remedies to help alleviate pain and find relief from the common side effects. A body massage or meditation can help eliminate things such as nausea, while also helping to give their immune system a boost and relax the mind.
Life after Lymphoma
Getting a diagnosis of any type of cancer is frightening. However, with advancements in technology and research on the rise, having cancer no longer means a death sentence. Finding out early always gives a patient the best chance of survival. Whether you made a full recovery or your team has it under control, the prognosis of living a normal life is good.
Lymphoma cancer can affect young and old alike. And, because it’s not easy to detect if you suspect something isn’t right or you have a history of lymphoma in your family, see a doctor sooner rather than later.