What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Cancer has received a tremendous amount of focus from the medical community in recent years. The longer people live, the more likely it is that someone will develop cancer. As the average life-expectancy grows, cancer will only become more common. Because of this, it is important for everyone to understand some information about the different types of cancer. According to statistics that have been published by the National Cancer Institute (NCI):
- More than 1.5 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2018.
- Over 600,000 people will die from some form of cancer.
- The most common cancers include breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer (such as mesothelioma), melanoma (a skin cancer), and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
- Out of every 100,000 people in the United States, more than 400 will receive a cancer diagnosis this year.
- More than 160 of these individuals will die.
- At some point during their life, close to 40 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer.
- Cancer is not only an adult disease, as more than 15,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
- The United States spends close to $150 billion on cancer every year.
Cancer is one of the most pressing issues facing the national healthcare system. There are many different forms of cancer and one of the most common types is called Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
An Overview: What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Among cancers, some of the most common types originate in the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a disease that starts in the body’s lymphatic system. The job of the lymphatic system is to fight disease and illness throughout the body. In cancer, the cells of the body replicate uncontrollably, causing life-threatening symptoms. In this case, white blood cells (specifically the lymphocytes) replicate rapidly, causing cancer. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is one of the most common types of lymphoma. There are many different types, which include:
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma
- Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
- Follicular Lymphoma
- Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia
Like other forms of cancer, it is important for individuals to get diagnosed quickly. The faster the cancer is diagnosed, the earlier treatment can begin. This could make a difference between suffering a long, drawn-out illness and making a full recovery.
Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Like other injuries and illnesses, the diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma starts by taking a history and performing a physical examination. Some of the symptoms of this serious cancer include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, neck, and groin.
- Typically, these lymph nodes are not painful, which is a common feature of many types of cancer.
- Chest pain that gets worse when coughing or exercising.
- Difficulty breathing, manifested by shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and exercise intolerance.
- Chronic fatigue, even despite a good night’s sleep.
- High fevers without an obvious source of infection.
- Night sweats that are so bad that the sheets are changed daily.
- A marked weight loss without extreme diet or exercise routines.
These are all signs that someone might be suffering from cancer, particularly lymphoma. If the doctor suspects that Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma might be the cause, the next step is to confirm the diagnosis. This involves an imaging test such as an x-ray, CT scan, or an MRI to look for possible growth of tumors in the lymph nodes. The definitive test is to biopsy one or more of the lymph nodes. The tissue is placed underneath a microscope, where a trained pathologist will make the final diagnosis.
Treatment Options: A Serious Cancer
The treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is going to depend on the stage of the disease. The stage of the disease can vary from Stage 1, which is relatively minor, to Stage 4, which is severe. In Stage 1 disease, the cancer is confined to a single lymph node, which could be removed surgically. In Stage 4, cancer has spread to numerous other parts of the body, called metastasis. The higher the stage, the worse the prognosis. Possible treatment options include:
- Surgery to remove cancerous tumors.
- Chemotherapy, which is the administration of drugs that are designed to halt cell division.
- Radiation, which is used to kill cancerous cells.
In some cases, the doctor could even recommend a bone marrow transplant, which replaces cancerous bone marrow with non-cancerous marrow. Like all transplants, there is a risk of rejection, where the body does not accept the transplant. The treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is complicated, which is why it is important to seek medical care early.
The video below explains more about Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
When a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, this can be an overwhelming experience for a family. It could leave people wondering what to do next and where to turn for help. Under these circumstances, it is a good idea to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. An attorney can help families by:
- Providing a steady presence for worried family members, helping them make objective decisions.
- Analyzing all aspects of a case, making sure that details have not been missed.
- Ensuring that liability in an accident, injury, or illness situation has been assigned correctly.
- Walking families through the legal process, particularly if the case goes to the courts.
Under stressful circumstances, it is normal to have questions. Families deserve to have their questions answered. For this reason, sit down and speak with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. You and your family members could be deserving of financial compensation.
Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a serious form of cancer that requires professional medical attention. If you or a loved one has developed a serious illness, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
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