Paige Kanopsic joins us to discuss Lymphoma Awareness Month, celebrated throughout the month of July. St. Mary’s Medical Center commemorates the even by projecting a 20 foot, lime green Lymphoma ribbon on their Cancer center!
According to St. Mary’s:
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. There are two classifications of lymphoma; non-hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphoma occurs when abnormal lymphatic cells divide again and again. These abnormal cells can spread to almost any other part of the body.
A doctor diagnoses lymphoma by performing a physical exam, blood tests, a chest x-ray, and a biopsy.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2019 there will be 82,310 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed in the United States. This makes lymphoma a rather rare disease. Lymphoma accounts for only 4.7% of the new cancer cases diagnosed each year. Only 2.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with lymphoma at some point during their lifetime.
The symptoms of lymphoma might include swollen painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin, unexplained weight loss, fever, night sweats, fatigue, itching, feeling of fullness in the abdomen.
If you have any of these symptoms you should follow up with your doctor. Lymphoma can be diagnosed by a physical exam, blood tests, a chest x-ray, and a biopsy.
Most of the time, doctors don’t know why a person gets lymphoma. People with a weakened immune system, those who are obese, have a positive family history, are male, or who have certain types of infections (such as HIV, Epstein- Barr virus, or Helicobacter pylori infection) are more likely to develop lymphoma.
Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy or biological therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells. Biologic therapy boosts your body’s own ability to fight cancer. If you don’t have symptoms, you may not need treatment right away. This is called watchful waiting.
Some people who live very healthy lives still develop lymphoma. With that in mind, the best way to prevent leukemia is to exercise, eat right, and don’t smoke or use any other tobacco products.