Lymphoma Leukemia Cancer Information
Lymphoma leukemia is one of the most devastating diseases a person can have. Both diseases are cancers of the immune system blood cells. These blood cells acquire some sort of mutation and end up growing uncontrollably. This rapid growth causes significant problems for the body and the diseases are uniformly fatal if they are not treated. There are several clusters of symptoms that can indicate that a person might have a lymphoma leukemia. One of the most common signs is the growth of lymph nodes. These nodes are found in the groin and should be dime sized. In people with lymphoma leukemia the lymph node expand to a very large size. They are not painful usually nor are they very hard. Most people will also have night sweats and can have weight loss. These symptoms are a sign of a growing tumor that uses up most of the energy available to the body.
Lymphoma leukemia is diagnosed with a history and physical along with laboratory testing. The healthcare provider will ask about symptoms and examine the patient. A sample of tissue will have to be taken from a swollen lymph node and examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present. This removal of tissue is called a biopsy and is essential to the diagnosis of most lymphomas leukemia. If lymphoma cancer is present, unusual cells will be found in the tissue. After this set of testing, there are many more tests that will be done to learn the stage and extent of the disease. These tests may include blood tests, chest X-rays, CT scans, and even biopsy of the bone marrow.
The disease is treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. These methods are used to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. The side effects of chemotherapy can include nausea and hair loss. Nausea is usually controlled with drugs. Most children are at risk for infections during and after treatment. If the lymphoma leukemia is not cured with chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant may be performed for some types of leukemias and lymphomas. The bone marrow is taken from the bones before treatment and then frozen. The child is then given high-dose chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy to treat the cancer. The marrow is then thawed and given back in a vein to replace the marrow that was destroyed by chemotherapy.
The lymphoma prognosis depends on several variable. The staging of the disease is very important as the more the disease has spread, the higher the risk. The genetic markers have also been shown to be useful in evaluating the disease. Some specific mutations portend a worse prognosis while other indicate that cure is possible.
The leukemia lymphoma society exists to educate people on these devastating diseases. While there are effective treatments, there is still not a lot known about these problems. People can still die from lymphoma leukemia and therefore there is a large need for research and development of new treatments and better testing to find the disease at earlier stages.