Non-Hodgkins disease : A Kind of blood cancer

Non-Hodgkins Disease

by GDS Infographics under CC BY


In cancer, the abnormal cells keep themselves alive and spread all over the body. They get active when they enter blood or lymph cells of the body. There are different kinds of blood cancers, and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of its kinds. Non-Hodgkin disease is also known as NHL or lymphoma. This cancer is caused in the lymphocytes cells. Thomas Hodgkin discovered its three kinds in year 1982.

Lymphocytes are the immune system cells. They found as nodes and tissues such as spleen and born marrow. There are two kinds of lymphoma – Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin disease. They difference is made on their spread and treatment response. Main difference is made by a close look of tissues under microscopes.

Lymphoid tissues can be found anywhere in the body, but major tissues are Lymph Nodes- The lymphatic vessels carry white blood cells, but after being infected, they start to carry cancer. Bone marrow makes bloods platelets, red and white blood cells. It makes two kinds of white blood cells-granulocytes and lymphocytes.

A chance of getting affected by a disease like cancer is called ‘Risk Factor’. It is not necessary that a patient with many risk factors will actually have the cancer. At the time, it gets difficult to guess out of risk factors especially in case of Non-Hodgkin disease. There are many risk factors for Non- Hodgkin lymphoma such as age, gender as it is more common men than in women. Few kinds of non-Hodgkin’s disease occur only in women.

Chemicals Exposure; Chemicals exposure with chemicals like benzene, herbicides and insecticides have a chance of NHL. Few chemotherapy drugs also have a chance to increase the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Radiation Exposure; Any kind of radiation exposure such as for treatment or survivors of atomic booms have a high risk. People with weak immune system have a high rating of getting in to this disease.

Due to drugs used in organ transplant such as of liver, lung, kidney makes the immune system weak, which is of a great  chance for developing NHL, HIV also affects the immune system, and people who are patients of HIV can easily be infected by non-Hodgkin Genetic syndromes. It can be transmitted to children as it is inherited. Different kinds of infections can risk it in many ways. Leukemia and Epstein Barr develop T-cell lymphoma.

It can be transmitted through sexual intercourse; contaminated blood and mother feed. AIDS virus can also affect the immune system. AIDS is a risk for development of B-cell lymphoma. Hepatitis C is also one of the risk factor for a certain kind of lymphoma. Overweight people with improper diet falls in high risk for being infected with NHL.

Doctors investigate the patient’s body. They examine the swollen lymph nodes present at different parts of the body. To investigate following steps should be kept in mind. Keep a report to inform about the past illness and family history of different diseases.

Regular checkup for bone marrow aspiration and trephine. A complete medical test for heart, kidney and liver along with protein level. To keep a check on anemia and level of white blood cells. CT scans of chest, abdomen and pelvis. X-ray and PET should be done. Immunophenotyping of surface antigens to distinguish T-cell and B-cell tumors.

This may be done on blood, marrow or node material. Immunoglobulin determinations, as some lymphomas are associated with IgG or IgM para-proteins that serve as markers for treatment response. This can be done by three methods; one removal of complete node, second is investigating a small part of the node. Third method done by using needles for removing tissues from the lymph nodes and observe.

Measure of uric acid levels as some very aggressive high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphomas are associated with high urate levels, which can precipitate renal failure when treatment started. HIV testing is must as this may be an appropriate test if risk factors are present. Investigate bone marrow as it makes bloods platelets, red and white blood cells. It makes two kinds of white blood cells-granulocytes and lymphocytes.

Treatment of Non Hodgkin depends on the type and stage of lymphoma. Age and health are also an important factor to start .he treatment. After confirmation of all factors, different kinds of treatments are used such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radio-immunotherapy where as few are treated by drugs called Rituximab. Few treatments include transfusion of blood and use of antibiotics. An oncologist evaluates the patient’s condition and suggests the treatment.

Along with these treatment patients must eat proper and have a support and hope of recovery. They must visit their nutritional and health care center. They must remove their vitamin deficiencies. To have regular exercise and other physical activities are very helpful in the treatment and recovery from cancer.

Survival rate of patients with non-Hodgkin depends on the stage and response of patient’s body to the treatment. In 2011, 18,000 patients died with non-Hodgkin’s disease.

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