Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL)
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system that begins in cells which are part of the body's immune system. The knowledge of which type of lymphoma you have is crucial because it affects both treatment options and prognosis.
The two main types of lymphoma:
• Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is cancer that begins in the lymphocytes (white blood cells), which are part of the immune system.
• Hodgkin disease (Hodgkin Lymphoma) is cancer that originates in white blood cells called lymphocytes. In Hodgkin lymphoma, cells in the lymph nodes have become cancerous.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma can be found just about anywhere in the body due to the fact that the lymph system runs throughout the entire body. Most often one of these cancers is noticed first in the lymph nodes in the neck, or in the liver or spleen. However, it can occur in other organs of the body also.
Causes & Symptoms of Hodgkin Lymphoma
Researchers do not know the exact cause of Hodgkin lymphoma. However, there seems to be a link between this cancer, age, immune system health, Epstein Barr and family history.
Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors include:
• Age, gender — This cancer occurs more frequently in men between the ages of 20 to 24 and 75 to 79. In women, the occurrence is higher between the ages of 20 to 24 and 70 to 74.
• Previous non-Hodgkin lymphoma
• Lowered immunity
• Epstein-Barr virus
• Family history
Common symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma:
• Painless swellings in neck, armpit, groin
• Night sweats
• Fever (often overnight)
• Weight loss
• Itching, particularly after alcohol consumption
• Abdominal pain or vomiting after alcohol consumption
• More frequent infections
• Arm and / or leg swelling
• Painful nerves when pressed
• Bleeding problems
Causes & Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Researchers do not know the exact cause of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, there seems to be a link between this cancer and several viral infections, age and family history.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors include:
• 60 percent of NHL cases diagnosed in people 65 or older, being slightly more common in men than women
• Weakened immune system
• HTLV1 viral infection
• Epstein-Barr virus
• Helicobacter pylori
• Coeliac disease
• Family history of NHL
• Previous cancer and treatment
Common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:
• Painless swellings in neck, armpit, groin
• Night sweats
• Fevers that come and go
• Significant weight loss
• Unexplained itching
• Enlarged tonsils
• Enlarged liver
• Enlarged spleen
• Abdominal lump
When the lymphoma is located in the brain:
• Difficulty thinking
• Difficulty moving parts of the body
• Changes in personality
Who Gets Lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma occurs more frequently in men between the ages of 20 to 24 and 75 to 79. In women, occurrence is higher between the ages of 20 to 24 and 70 to 74. A significant percentage (60%) of non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses are in people 65 or older, being slightly more common in men than women.
Prognosis if You Have Lymphoma
For treatment purposes, doctors often use a simpler system based on the extent of cancer in the body.
The 5-year relative survival rate for Hodgkin lymphoma:
• Stage I – 92.2 percent
• Stage II and III – 93 percent
• Stage IV – 77 percent
The 5-year relative survival rate for non-Hodgkin lymphoma:
• Stage I – 82.9 percent
• Stage II and III – 75 percent
• Stage IV – 63.4 percent
(Based on data from SEER 18 2007-2013.)
Conventional medicine’s main types of treatment for lymphoma include:
• Radiation therapy
• Palliative therapy
• Biological therapy
• Stem cell transplants
• High-dose bone marrow treatment
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Society, Candian Cancer Society
Alternative Cancer Treatments: Lymphoma
The Alternative Cancer Treatments for Lymphoma include liver flushes, coffee enemas, dietary protocols, electromedicine, vitamins and supplements, and rebounding exercises.
How to Prevent Lymphoma
There is no known way to prevent most lymphomas. Many of the known risk factors such as age, ethnicity,and family history are beyond our control.
There are lifestyle decisions you can make to lower the risk of developing lymphomas, including maintaining a healthy weight by being active and eating a healthy diet: vegetables; fruits; whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals; fish; poultry; and beans. Also, you should limit processed meat and red meat.
The immune system contains many different types of “cells,” however, only a handful of these white blood cells actually kill cancer cells. It should be the intent of a person with cancer to focus on treatments that quickly increase the count of the cancer-killing white blood cells.
Immune System Health
A healthy immune system remains your body's best defense. Not only is a weak immune system a major reason patients have cancer — and cancer itself can further weaken the immune system.
Beta glucans may help regulate the immune system, making it more efficient. In addition, beta glucans may stimulate white blood cells (lymphocytes) that bind to tumors or viruses and release chemicals to destroy it.
Beta Glucan has been approved in Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer. In fact, helping with cancer is just the beginning with Beta Glucan. There are many studies showing the product can protect against infections, lower your cholesterol, lower blood sugar, reduce stress, increase your antibody production, heal wounds, help radiation burns, overcome mercury-induced immunosuppression (like Thimerosal, used as a preservative in vaccines), help with diabetes, and even naturally prevent metastasisThe spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from the original (primary) tumor, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form a new tumor in other organs or tissues of the body. The new, metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells. (or the spreading of your cancer).
Harvard Medical School suggests following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy:
• Don't smoke.
• Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fatA type of fat with certain chemical properties that is usually solid at room temperature. Most saturated fats come from animal food products, but some plant oils, such as palm and coconut oil, also contain high levels. Eating saturated fat increases the level of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of heart disease..
• Exercise regularly.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Control your blood pressure.
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
• Get adequate sleep.
• Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
• Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
More Information: Building the Immune System
Your diet plays a role in a healthy immune system. The top vitamins your immune system needs to perform include:
• Vitamin C — helps to repair and regenerate tissues and aids in the absorption of iron
• Vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection
• Vitamin B6 — supports adrenal function and is necessary for key metabolic processes
• Vitamin A — aids immune function and helps provide a barrier against infections
• Vitamin D — modulates cell growth, promotes neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation
• Folate — key in development of red blood cells (a lack of Folate can make the body susceptible to cancer)
• Iron — helps your body carry oxygen to cells
• Selenium — slows the body's overactive responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer
• Zinc — slows the immune response and control inflammation in your body