Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Diagnose and Treat Lymphoma Cancer?

The lymph system is a tubular structure branching out to all the parts of the body and is vital to fight infections. Lymph is a colorless fluid that contains white blood cells (lymphocytes) and is carried by the lymph system.

There are various types of lymphoma cancers and hence, answering a question, how to diagnose and treat lymphoma is a great challenge. The most common type of lymphoma and the term that is used interchangeably is Hodgkins disease and the rest of the types are known as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Although, there are several symptoms of lymphoma cancer, but they may be similar to any other illness, making it difficult to suspect the diagnosis of lymphoma.

Some symptoms are:

    Swelling of the lymph nodes
    Fatigue feeling
    Weight loss
    Recurrent fever
    Night sweats

Once a patient experiences symptoms, he/she may consult a physician, who may carry out the diagnostic procedure to confirm the disease. The diagnosis will be based upon:

    Thorough physical examination of the patient
    Inquiry about the complete personal and family history
    Physically examining the lymph nodes for any abnormalities present
    Biopsy test to confirm about the malignancy present in the lymph nodes
    Chest x-ray to verify any enlargement of the lymph nodes in the chest
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) or Computer Tomography (CT) scan
    Ultrasound examination

After the diagnosis is done and the lymphoma cancer is confirmed, then the patient may further undergo a few tests to detect the exact stage of the disease.

Cancer Treatment:

    Radiation Therapy - Powerful x-rays or any such radiations may be used to treat the lymphoma cancer. The radiations are directed to kill the abnormal cancerous cells either by internal or external radiation therapy. However, pregnant women are not eligible for radiation therapy until delivery.

    Chemotherapy - This therapy uses anti-cancer drugs to destroy the malignant cells in the lymph system. The therapy may be administered through mouth, intravenously or placing directly into the cerebrospinal fluid. Although, chemotherapy may be observed in pregnant women, close watch is required to see any danger to the fetus.

    Vaccine Therapy - This is a new treatment technique used to treat lymphoma. This technique aims at strengthening body's immunity to fight the cancerous cells. The medications used are directed to restore the immune system and boost its defense against the malignancies.

    High-dose chemotherapy in combination with stem cell transplant is another treatment option lately being considered. The technique is to replace the destroyed blood-forming stem cells in the patient with the donor stem cells.

Lymphoma cancer is type of cancer that affects the lymph system of the body. There are around 35 and more types of this cancer. Hence, how to diagnose and treat lymphoma cancer is a challenge for medical professionals. Like any other cancer, early detection and prompt treatment are vital.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Are Some Of The Blood Cancer Types?

Unfortunately, there are many people who get cancer each year and have to deal with these types of illnesses. One type of cancer is blood cancer. Many people wonder what are some of the blood cancer types that people become sick with. Find out what some of the blood cancer types are.

One of the first common types of blood cancer is Leukemia. This unfortunately targets parts of your body that help you form your blood. There are a variety of types of Leukemia but all of them hurt your ability to produce healthy white blood cells. Because people with Leukemia lack white blood cells, typically the complications come from an inability to fight infection versus the cancer itself. Unfortunately, this is one of the more common cancers in children.

Lymphoma is another type of cancer that people get. This is a cancer of the lymph system which sometimes is referred to as Hodgkin's lymphoma or Hodgkin's disease. What happens is that the cells within the lymphatic system start to not form correctly. Eventually it's difficult to fight infections making the person very sick. There are also forms of lymphoma that are called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which effects the while blood cells instead.

A third type of cancer is Multiple Myeloma. This type of cancer is very dangerous simply because it will effect the plasma cells in the blood. Generally the signs of this type of cancer is difficult to spot until someone has already had some serious infections because the body can't fight them off too well.

You need to be aware that there are multiple versions of each type of these cancers. Some are acute as they appear and harm the body quickly while others will not be so severe and gradually build up unless dealt with. If you need more information on a specific type of cancer, you can talk to your doctor getting all the information you need about a very specific type of cancer.

No matter what, the best advice we can give you is to start treating your cancer as soon as possible. The more time you give the cancer in your blood to evolve, the harder it will be to get rid of it in the end. Blood cancer is not a terminal disease per say, but if you do not start treating it immediately, it may very well be!
We wish you the best of luck with treating the cancer in your blood or avoiding same.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Symptoms of Leukemia: Spotting Them Before It's Too Late

Leukemia is a type of cancer that is very common nowadays. It does not choose who it attacks: men, women, children, adults, Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic - we are all at risk. According to the latest survey conducted, almost 44,000 people will be diagnosed with leukemia by 2010. It is now 2011. However, with developments that we have had in the aspect of health and medicine, the outcome of leukemia is looking bright. There is now a significant increase in the survival rate - a little over 50 per cent. That might not be a very big number for you, but compared to the 1970s when they only had a 14 per cent chance of survival, 50 per cent is almost like being disease-free. Won't you agree?

Surviving leukemia would largely depend on the severity of the disease by the time it gets diagnosed. As you could deduce, an earlier diagnosis of leukemia would give a better prognosis as compared to a late detection. Knowing which symptoms to look out for would be a great help in getting the earliest treatment possible. The following would be the most common symptoms of leukemia:

• Fever and recurrent infections. The reason behind this is that in leukemia, you do not have mature white blood cells to combat foreign bodies. You do not have a good defense system to protect you from invading viruses.

• Fatigue. Leukemia is a condition where there is a massive production of abnormal white blood cells. These cells would take up a lot of space, thus impeding the production of other types of cells. Since the production of red blood cells is decreased in the process, oxygen delivery to your various systems would also be decreased. This is what's causing fatigue.

• Bleeding and/or easy bruising. Bleeding, when associated with cancer, is painless. The same goes with bruising. A normal bruise would be tender when touched. Bruising, as related to leukemia, does not have any pain at all. Platelets, the ones responsible for clotting, are decreased in leukemia. This causes the bleeding and the bruising.

• Petechiae. They are tiny, rash-like spots found on the skin. Unlike rashes, though, petechiae are not itchy. This is caused by the rupture of capillaries and a decrease in platelet count.

• Pain. All types of cancer have pain. In the case of leukemia, it is bone or joint pain. This should not be confused with symptoms of bone cancer, though. The pain in bone cancer is caused by the compression of nerves due to tumor growth. In leukemia, the pain is caused by the overcrowding of blood cells in the bone marrow.

There are many other symptoms of leukemia, but the aforementioned would be the most common of the lot. If you experience any of those mentioned above, consult with your doctor immediately. If you get treatment early in the disease, there is a chance that the cancer cells might be eradicated and you would be one of the few survivors who would live to tell your story about battling with death.