So, Rachel, How Did You Get Follicular Lymphoma?

19 Oct

Yesterday was a feel-good day!  The weather was beautiful (highs in the low 80s) and I felt very good all day.  Pretty good for a Tuesday, huh?  Tomorrow, the high is supposed to only be in the upper 50s.  Can’t say I’m really looking forward to that.  :)

I’ve wondered this and people have asked – how does someone get follicular lymphoma?  It’s a good question, but I’m not sure I can completely answer it.  There are no known, specific causes of follicular lymphoma, but there are factors that put people at higher risk for developing the cancer.

Source: ThinkStockPhotos.com

For starters, let’s understand a little bit about lymphomas, in general, and what makes follicular lymphoma different from other types.

Lymphoma 101

Lymphomas are cancers of the blood cells.  Our body’s lymphatic system consists of lymphoid tissue, lymph vessels, and a clear fluid called lymph.  Immune system cells work together within the lymphoid tissue to fight infections.

The majority of cells inside the lymphoid tissue are lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.  There are primarily two types of lymphocytes: b-cells and t-cells.  B-cells produce antibodies to help our bodies fight bacterial and viral infections.  T-cells perform a variety of functions from protecting our bodies against viruses to boosting our immune system.  Some t-cells even fight certain types of cancer.

Why is it Called Follicular Lymphoma?

When it comes to lymphomas, there are two major forms: hodgkin’s and non-hodgkin’s.  Follicular lymphoma is one of several subsets of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma.  It is a b-cell lymphoma and the term “follicular” defines the type of cell and how it appears.  When follicular lymphoma cells are viewed under a microscope, they have a rounded structure called follicles, thus the name “follicular.”

So, Who Gets Follicular Lymphoma?

That’s tough to say, for sure.  Although it’s currently impossible to determine the cause(s) of follicular lymphoma, there are a few things that place a person at a higher risk of developing the cancer:

  • Age: The average age for someone diagnosed with follicular lymphoma is 65.
  • Ethnicity: It is less common among African-Americans and Asians than other ethnicities.
  • Gender: More women than men are diagnosed with follicular lymphoma; however, there is only a slight difference in the percentages.

In addition, the risk factors for non-hodgkin’s lymphoma also apply:

  • People who have had an organ transplant or have taken medications to suppress their immune system are at increased risk.
  • Interaction with some chemicals, including insecticides and pesticides, can increase a person’s risk.
  • Previously having a viral or bacterial infection such as HIV, Hepatitis C, Epstein-Bar, or H-pylori may also increase the risk.

For me, personally, the most interesting risk factor is the H-pylori bacteria.  In 2001, I was diagnosed with stomach ulcers.  At the time, I had three bleeding ulcers, was hospitalized, and transfused three units of blood.  As is common with many people who have ulcers, the H-pylori bacteria was found in my system.  Although I can’t prove a connection, my suspicion is that this risk factor contributed to my currently having follicular lymphoma.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

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4 Responses to “So, Rachel, How Did You Get Follicular Lymphoma?”

  1. Elizabeth October 19, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    This is very informative and thank you for posting. Please make sure that no one steals your happy today – Diet Dr Pepper (cherry for me) to the rescue if they do! Love, hugs and so much more to you my dear.

  2. rachturner October 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    No one is stealing my happy today! :) Have a beautiful day, Liz.

  3. Lowell Couret November 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    The choice to make use of an alternative medicine remedy for cancer requires courage in the outset. When you’re first told you’ve cancer it can be like stepping into an elevator shaft – your entire life can feel like it’s going into totally free fall. And when you are told by your oncologist or consulting surgeon and you have to have surgery your first impulse might be “Let’s get done rapidly so I can get on with life following cancer.” This was true of my companion. Even though she regularly utilized alternative medicine the lure of the immediate fix that surgery for her breast cancer appeared to provide was enticing.

  4. Abhilash January 5, 2016 at 6:13 am #

    Hi all,
    let me explain the real and close observation and experience with Follicular Lymphoma

    my dad is having follicular lymphoma, there was a 7cm tumor in the neck, doctor told we cant give chemo as creatinin is high – 2.2, so doctor told wait and watch approach.
    tumor remained same size for long time. after doing research in net about alternative treatment, I come with a 3 Medicine treatment for daily twice –

    1 ) Curcumin C3 Complex
    2 ) Gomutra Ark (purified Cow Urine)
    3 ) Moringo tablets

    tumor just disapeared like ice in just 2 weeks…

    it may or may not work to others but it worked for my father, we are giving this daily.

    ,

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