There is a lot of talk these days about Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), a type of cancer that can be deadly and that is attacking many members of our Hispanic communities, especially those who work in agriculture, gardening, botanical or maintain their own gardens, since glyphosate- based herbicides or poisons are used in all these tasks, a component that has been associated with this type of cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Agency for Research on Cancer), an organization of the World Health Organization.
In this article we will present the most important data about how this disease occurs, what are the symptoms, what are the types of treatment available and what else we can do if we receive an unfavorable diagnosis.
What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)?
NHL is a type of cancer that attacks the lymphatic tissue. We talk about cancer when the cells of our body begin to reproduce out of control. Any type of cell in our body can become cancer, and expand in the rest of our body if it is not treated in time.
When the cancer begins to develop first in cells called lymphocytes, a key piece of our defense system, we talk about Lymphoma. Other cancers, which start elsewhere in the body, can then expand and affect the lymphatic tissue, but these are not considered lymphoma.
According to figures from the American Cancer Society, about 66,000 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States each year, and about 20,000 die from this disease.
Importance of the Lymphatic System
The Lymphatic System is a network of tissues and organs formed by the lymph, which is a fluid that contains white blood cells, responsible for defending the body from germs.
L as lymphoid cells are basically throughout the human body, which means that lymphoma can start almost anywhere in the body. The main sites where these tissues are found are the lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the tonsils, the digestive tract and the bone marrow.
Who is exposed to the NHL?
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to occur when our defenses are weak, for example after having undergone an organ transplant or in case of HIV / AIDS infection. In general, it affects adults more often than children and more men than women.
Recently, a report by the World Health Organization has linked the non-Hodgkin lymphoma with the use of glyphosate, a herbicide chemical developed by the multinational Monsanto and that is present in several agro-toxic products, among them the famous Roundup, which would put danger to hundreds of thousands of people who work in agriculture and gardening.
What are the symptoms?
- Heavy sweating at night
- Fever and chills
- Itching or itching
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, groin, or other areas
- Sudden weight loss
- Cough or trouble breathing
- Pressure on the trachea or its ramifications.
- Bloating or abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite, nausea and / or vomiting.
- Epilepsy attacks
Once the disease is diagnosed, the doctor will recommend a therapy taking into account the type of NHL that the body has developed, the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, the patient’s age, physical conditions and the type of symptoms that the person presents.
It is very common for the doctor to recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of both. Sometimes a radioimmunotherapy treatment is also carried out, where a radioactive substance is combined with an antibody directed at the diseased cells, injecting the substance into the patient. It is also possible that transfusions of blood or platelets are needed if the patient’s blood cells are low.
When the cancer is diagnosed, both the patient and the family face both emotional and economic challenges, and it is easy to feel alone, confused and vulnerable. Fortunately, there are many institutions dedicated to providing support to those who are in this situation.