Lymph nodes are a part of our lymphatic system, along with the spleen, thymus gland and the bone marrow. Lymphatic system runs extensively throughout our body. It is an extremely important part of our immune system. The lymphatic system, amongst all its functions, performs an important function of transport of white blood cells in and out of the lymph nodes and the bones. It eventually drains in the chest near the heart. It is an integral part of our body’s defense mechanism.
Is Lymph Node Cancer Curable?
The lymph node cancer or a lymphoma is one of the most curable cancers. However, as in any other cancer, or any other disease for that matter, it is important to get oneself evaluated for lymph node cancer, promptly, if one starts noticing any symptoms that do not feel usual or right. Any enlargement in lymph nodes is not to be neglected and medical intervention is to be sought immediately to improve the chances of prognosis in lymphomas.
The lymphoma is classified into several stages, the stages 1 to 4 being the ones that are classified according to the spread of the disease. Another stage called the progressive stage is the one in which the original lymph node cancer is being treated, but the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Yet another stage is the recurrent stage where, despite being treated earlier, the lymph node cancer comes back in the same area or in a new area. This may occur immediately or after many years of completion of the treatment.
The treatment of lymph node cancer also depends on the type of lymphoma and the stage it has progressed to. As stated earlier, the general health of the person also matters a lot. The treatment may include several options like radiation therapy and chemotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplant, surgery etc. The best course of treatment will be decided by the oncologist taking into consideration all the above-mentioned factors.
Prognosis of Lymph Node Cancer
As with any type of cancer, the most common suspicion and concern one has is, whether it is possible to cure my cancer. Well, again, as in most cases of cancer, the prognosis largely depends upon how early the cancer has been diagnosed, how far it has spread and what is the general health of the person. In some cases, the type of the cancer may also affect the prognosis. All this holds true in case of lymph node cancer or lymphoma as well. In order to see the prognosis of the lymphoma, it is important to consider a few factors related to it.
However, because of continuous research happening on different types of cancers, there has been a major breakthrough in the treatments of lymphomas. Hence, the prognosis of lymph node cancer has improved over the past few years. In most cases, lymphomas are now curable.
However, taking a look at these factors will help in understanding the prognosis a bit better.
Age – age plays an important role in improving the prognosis. As old age generally makes the body weak and there are degenerative changes going on in the body, the body’s immune system also gets affected and as a result it gets difficult to get complete recovery from any disease. Being under the age of 55 to 60 improves the prognosis to quite an extent.
If the lymph node cancer is localized at one place, or spreads maximum to one or two more areas outside the lymph nodes, it offers much better prognosis than if the lymphoma is spread far and wide.
Also, the progress of the disease has to be considered. The stages 1 and 2 are usually easily manageable. However, in some cases, later stages may also be cured with efficient and prompt treatment.
The general health of the person also plays a very important role in deciding the prognosis of the disease. The better the health, the better are the chances of improved prognosis.
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