Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas - Describe Your Experience

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What is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. It is estimated to be the sixth most common cancer in the United States. The lymphatic system is part of the body's immune system and helps fight infections and other diseases. In addition, the lymphatic system filters out bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted substances.

The lymphatic system consists of the following:

Lymph vessels: These vessels branch out throughout the body similar to blood vessels.

  • Lymph: The lymph vessels carry a clear fluid called lymph. Lymph contains white blood cells including a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes (such as B cells and T cells).
  • Lymph nodes: Lymph vessels are interconnected to small masses of lymph tissue called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are found throughout the body. Collections of lymph nodes are found in the neck, underarms, chest, abdomen, and groin. Lymph nodes store white blood cells. When you are ill and the lymph nodes are active, they will swell and be easily palpable (a doctor can feel them during an examination).
  • Additional parts of the lymphatic system: The tonsils, thymus, and spleen are additional components of the lymphatic system. Lymphatic tissue is also found in other parts of the body, including the stomach, skin, and small intestine.

Because lymphatic tissue is found in many parts of the body, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can start almost anywhere.

Return to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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Comment from: dobo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

On January 2012, I had my spleen taken out and the doctor told me it was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The doctors thought they got it all so they just kept a close eye on me. In 6 months I had a PET scan and it showed that I had stage 3 non-Hodgkin's follicular lymphoma. The cancer was from my hip area to my neck. I went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy and as of now, I'm still in remission. I have always tried to do what the doctor tells me and I also try to keep a positive attitude. I've been through breast cancer in 2008 and I tried to keep a positive outlook on things. I think that it is very important to have a positive attitude. How are you going to get better if you keep thinking negative! Oh, I'm not saying that we don't have our moments, but just so we keep going back to that positive attitude. Good Luck to everyone and hope everything goes well for you all.

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Comment from: naej, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I started coughing in July 2013, 4 months after I gave birth to my 3rd child at the age of 31. It lasted for almost 2 months, thinking that it was only an allergy. This resulted in chest pain and shortness of breath which I had never experienced before. I have undergone x-ray and CT scan and a mediastinal mass was found on my left chest. Series of biopsies were done and a negative result was always revealed. It was finally diagnosed as large B cell lymphoma stage 4, in the end of December 2013 after the fourth biopsy. I have undergone 8 cycles of CHOP for my chemotherapy and was followed by 20 days radiation therapy that ended in September 2014. In November 2014, I found out that I was pregnant with my 4th child. But my CT scan revealed that there is only a very slight regression of my mediastinal mass and additional new lesions were found in both my lungs. My oncologist suggested another chemotherapy, R-CHOP but since I was pregnant, the plan was cancelled. My CBC, LDH and other blood chemistry tests were monitored, including my physical activities during my pregnancy. Everything went normal until I gave birth to a very healthy baby boy this July. Now, I have just done my CT scan and I was very positive that my tumor and lesions were gone. My x-ray revealed a clear and normal result. Now, I'm enjoying each day nursing my little angel and playing with my other 3 kids, aged 4, 3 and 2. My weapons were right food and positive outlook in life. Plus the 24/7 support of my husband, friends and other family members.

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