What is Lymphoma

Lymphoma as it is defined by the National Cancer Institute –  Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One kind is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer.

Statistics from the National Cancer Institute

  • It is estimated that 8,220 men and women (4,400 men and 3,820 women) will be diagnosed with and 1,350 men and women will die of Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008
  • Survival percentage for men or women diagnosed before the age of 45 is 91.6%

Symptoms that can help with early detection (the ones in red are the symptoms I have experienced).

  • Swollen lymph nodes (that do not hurt) in the neck, underarms, or groin
  • Becoming more sensitive to the effects of alcohol or having painful lymph nodes after drinking alcohol
  • Weight loss for no known reason (I lost 30 pounds)
  • Fever that does not go away
  • Soaking night sweats
  • Itchy skin
  • Coughing, trouble breathing, or chest pain
  • Weakness and tiredness that don’t go away

4 thoughts on “What is Lymphoma

  1. Giana says:

    Hi Dan,

    I am writing to you from the other side of the world -I am 30 yo and I have been experiencing these symptoms for over 2 months. The doctors are worried about lymphoma – I am not sure if I will make it through -anyway just wanted to let you know that your story has been an inspiration of hope for me and would like to thank you for making it public.

    All the best with everything and stay strong

    • Angela says:

      Giana,
      I hope that you are well and by now you should have received an answer from the doctor about the cause of your symptoms. I hope that it is not cancer, but if it is, be strong… you will get through it. I am not saying it will be easy, but the fight is worthwhile and the strength you gain from going through something like this will stay with you forever. All the best.
      Angela

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