Here’s some info I got today from the Leukemia Society staff. I wanted to pass it along so that you too can learn more about what we’re up against! A big mahalo to all of my new donors this week – we’re up to $450, or 15% to goal! Thanks so much for your support. =)
Here’s a bit about two Hematologic (Blood) Malignancies (Cancers): NHL (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) and HD (Hodgkins Disease)…..
HD: Hodgkins disease is actually a specific type of lymphoma first described in 1666. It is characterized by gradual and progressive enlargement of lymph nodes usually originating in the cervical (neck area) region and spreading to other lymph tissues throughout the body eventually forming nodular type growths on organs. Presence of a particular cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell must be present for definitive diagnosis. This is a disease of the younger and older population with rare occurrences in middle age. This disease is quite treatable and can be cured. Those with limited stage disease have a 85-95% 5 year disease free survival rate, those with more advanced disease who receive chemotherapy and radiation have a 60-80% 5 year disease free survival rate.
NHL: Non-Hodgkins Lymphomas actually incorporates a vast number of individual diseases (there are about 9 different types of NHL’s with an even larger number of subtypes). So, it is important to remember that when you hear the words NHL it can mean many different things including different treatments and different outcomes. In general, it is a cancerous disease of the lymphoid tissues (essentially the lymph nodes) that can originate in almost any area of the body and can spread quickly to just as many places. There is an increased incidence with increased age. Most patients (80%) have no symptoms at the time of diagnosis. NHL’s are most often treated with chemotherapy alone unless there is a large local area of disease that may benefit from radiation. Prior to chemotherapy many patients can undergo surgery to debulk (make smaller) the tumor as well. Response to treatment for NHL is very variable and is between 40-80%. People can be cured with chemotherapy alone and many today are undergoing bone marrow transplant with curative intent.
We are making improvements in therapies to treat these diseases, improvement in people’s ability to tolerate therapy and increased survival rates, but we still have much work to do. We cannot do it without each and everyone of you, so great job, keep up the good work and THANKS for all you’re doing to help us find a cure!!!