Lymphoma Specialist Brisbane Northside
A lot of people in Brisbane could be suffering from lymphoma, which happens to be the fifth most common cancer in the country. Consulting a specialist is important for early detection, determine lymphoma type, and treatment.
What is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It occurs when lymphocytes, or white blood cells that fight infection, develop a genetic mutation where they multiply abnormally and could spread throughout the body. This affects the immune system and many different organs of the body.
There are many types of lymphoma but the two most common are Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The only difference is the presence of the Reed-Sternberg cell, which is bigger in size than other lymphocytes, found in a Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Lymphoma can occur at any age and is often treatable.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoma?
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
Symptoms could vary depending on what organ has been affected by lymphoma. For instance, those with skin lymphoma could notice having flat red patches, or those with lymphoma in the central nervous system could suffer from headaches, vision changes, and seizures, among many others.
None of these, however, would automatically mean a patient has lymphoma as there could be other factors causing these symptoms. That is why it is important to consult a specialist about any unexplained lump that does not go away longer than 3 to 4 weeks.
What Causes Lymphoma?
There is no known cause for lymphoma but experts determined some risk factors that make one susceptible to develop the disease:
- If one has a close relative who has had lymphoma
- Immune system problems
- Infectious organisms
- Previous cancers
- Unhealthy lifestyle
What Are the Treatments for Lymphoma?
Treatment for lymphoma depends on several factors: lymphoma type, stage of disease, size of lumps, organs affected by lymphoma, symptoms, among others.
At some point, patients would need to go through chemotherapy to reduce cancer cells in the body. It could be used in combination with radiation therapy, which uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells.
These aggressive treatments could end up damaging the bone marrow, thus the need for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. This may also be an option if Hodgkin’s lymphoma persists despite treatment.
Other treatments include intake of drugs like steroids and surgery if there is a need to remove an organ severely affected by lymphoma.
While lymphoma could not be prevented, survival rates after treatment are good.
How to Live a Life with Lymphoma?
Living with lymphoma is no walk in the park. It could take a toll on one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Thus, certain adjustments must be made in terms of diet, lifestyle, work or school life, among others.
- Keeping a healthy diet is important but consult a physician first since some food tend to hinder enzymes that help break down drugs to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
- Work with the company or school for arrangements in case the patient needs to take the time off. Driving might also not be safe for those undergoing treatment and medication.
- If one needs to travel, consult a specialist first since getting exposed to a different environment could compromise the immune system. One might also need to take necessary vaccinations so as not to catch any infection.