What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Lymphomas are cancers that affect your lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is one of these lymphomas and can result in symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, and swollen lymph nodes. While it is ideal to try to prevent NHL, you can also treat the condition if you already have it. The earlier your lymphoma is diagnosed, the better your chances of recovery. This article will investigate some of the Western Medicine treatments for NHL, which contrast with Chinese Medicine treatments.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment:
Western Medicine offers a variety of treatment options for NHL including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplant and targeted drug therapy. Chemotherapy may be administered either orally or by injection and aims to kill the cancer cells themselves. There are many different types of chemotherapy drugs which include platinum drugs (like cisplatin), alkylating agents (like Cytoxan), and corticosteroids (like Hemady and Rayos).
Radiation therapy is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment which also aims to kill the cancer cells as well as eliminate tumours. This is done using beams of intense energy called radiation.
Immunotherapy is a treatment option which uses the immune system itself to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. This can be done by administering drugs which cause antibodies to attack certain target sites on the different types of cancer cells.
Another treatment option for NHL is stem cell transplant. This is when a higher dose of chemotherapy is used which kills your stem cells along with the cancerous cells. Healthy stem cells are then transplanted into the body. These healthy stem cells must be frozen in advance and can either be from your body or from a donor.
Outlook for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:
Recovery and survival rates for NHL patients depend on factors such as the stage of your cancer, your overall health, your age, the type of NHL, how soon treatment occurs, and how your body responds to the treatment. In general, if treatment is started earlier then there will be a higher chance of survival and recovery. While slow-growing tumours may indicate a longer time span before health severely declines, these types of NHL may also only be diagnosed at a later stage. The further the cancer spreads, the more difficult it may be to treat. Hence, it’s important to try to lower your chances of developing the cancer in the first place and diagnosing the disease early.
How can Chinese Medicine Help?
Chinese Medicine can provide excellent and natural treatment options for many diseases including cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Techniques like acupuncture may be very effective at energising any weaker organs in your body, to bring them back into a healthy state. The aim of Chinese Medicine is to heal the affected organs to allow the body to function healthily by itself again. This contrasts with many Western Medicine treatments which often aim to suppress the symptoms of any given disease, or to replace the functions of the organs through medications.
Chinese Medicine can help treat your cancer in different ways depending on your unique, individual circumstances. Your Chinese Medicine practitioner will try to boost the affected areas of your body to attempt to bring them back to a healthy functioning state, but this may not be possible in severe cases. However, Chinese Medicine can also help in other ways. Reducing pain, energising your immune system and decreasing swelling and inflammation are some of the ways acupuncture can help you treat NHL. If you have already had cancer treatment like chemotherapy or radiation, Chinese Medicine can also help to soothe the side effects which come with these treatments, like nausea and pain. The benefit of using acupuncture to treat these symptoms is that acupuncture rarely has any side effects.
Overall, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which may be treated by chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, and other techniques. The recovery rate of NHL patients depends on factors like your age, overall health and the stage of the cancer when treatment is begun. Cancers like NHL can also be treated with Chinese Medicine, which can help strengthen the immune system and sooth pain and inflammation.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help treat cancer, see our webpage at https://balancetcm.co.nz/cancer-clinic/.
See our website at https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/cancer-treatment/ for more information about how to treat cancer.
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Centre of Balance: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Archive for category: Cancer Treatment. https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/cancer-treatment/
Centre of Balance: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Cancer Clinic. https://balancetcm.co.nz/cancer-clinic/
Normandin, B., Boskey, E., & Tabackman, L. (2021, November 22). Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/non-hodgkins-lymphoma