I HAD A LYMPHOMA/14

CHECKING OUT THE HODGKINS

 As readers will recall, my diagnosed condition back in August was NON-HODKINS T-CELL LYMPHOMA. Another allied condition is HODKINS LYMPHOMA. The other day ,I was contacted to ask what the differences were between the two and had to advise that I did not know, but would research. Thus, here the fruits of that research which are in no way intended to be a full medical explanation but rather a layman"s take on the same.

Both the Hodgkins are cancers that come initially from the white blood cells known as Lymphocytes which form an important part of the body immune system. They BOTH can exhibit similar symptoms but nevertheless differ.These differences are found by biopsy as in my case after the perforated bowel operation undertaken in July.Examination of the tumour tissue identifies the type. In my case this was Non-Hodgkins.

Non-H is the more common and is the most common found in males like me and more common than in females. Apparently this form has shown a steady INCREASE over recent decades. It is a group that is known as HETEROGENOUS, which exhibit differences under microscopic examination which shows up the malignant lymphocytes, in my case T-Cells.These have a tendency to grow aggressively, hence my "good fortune" in needing the bowel operation as they are painless in their stealthy progress.

Hodgkins is the less common of the two types and is actually declining as Non-H increases. Microscopic examining tissue and revealing cells called REED-SHAMBERG ,classifies the problem as Hodgkins.

Both disease can occur at any age but risk increase with age and most diagnosis occurs in the 60 plus age group, which fits me absolutely.Hodgkin's itself attacks the young {15-40 years} and is mostly found between 20 and 30 years. Even so cases do occur in the 55 plus group apparently also.

Symptoms, when apparent are a painless swelling of the Lymph Nodes. I recall them examining closely under my armpits, neck and groin areas at the start for example to see if there was any discernible swelling. In my case this was, thankfully, negative.Other symptoms are weight loss {which I had in spades}, fevers and night sweats.

Getting the diagnosis spot on is key to treatment for the condition and requires identifying the exact type and characterisation of the malignant lymphocytes, the growth characteristics and the location of the tumour{ mine was on the peripheral part of the liver}. Treatment can involve RADIOGRAPY and/or CHEMOTHERAPY, the latter in my case in a form known as CHOP THERAPY involving in the main 4 different drugs administered in the case of 3 of them by injection and drip at the Chemo Clinic and 5 days of 4 steroid tablets to help balance the energy lowering effects of the other 3 in the early stages of the 14 day cycle.

Now, new treatments are being developed for certain types of Lymphomas including those like mine, which involve high dose biologic medications. This latter, my team will decide upon after Scan 3 soon, as they may be used where prevention of a return of Lymphoma is considered possible and to guard against it.

So there you have it, for what it may be worth. I find it helpful to understand what I had and how the treatment was devised, to say nothing of the diagnosis and it seems that though Non- H is on the increase, so is the effectiveness of treatment where diagnosis is early enough.The message I have to send to all is simple. If you have any doubt about your own condition  get it checked out, do not wait a minute, day, week , month. The time you delay could be the time that causes you most grief.

BLOOD TEST AND UROLOGY.

Tomorrow I have the blood test for the Lumbar puncture due Wednesday and also the initial Urology visit to discuss the polyurea problem.that plus Scan 3  will form an interesting time and hopefully I will report here after completion later this week. 

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Comments 2 comments

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annieloulaurel 5 years ago

Thanks! This is very informative. As always, prevention is better than cure. Thus, do not wait until symptoms worsen. Consult a doctor as early as possible.


j w adams 5 years ago from Essex/ Alanya/ Hurghada Author

Thanks for the supportive comment Annie Lou, I fully endorse what you say. In my case I just had the "luck" to need a bowel operation which, whilst horrible, revealed the T-Cell in time for tratment to work it seems. I am very lucky, I think.

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