Helping Yourself in the Fight Against Lymphoma: A Guide
There is a series of lymph nodes and vessels, known as the lymph system, that transports lymph fluid throughout your body. These fluids contain white blood cells that help to fight off infections. The lymph nodes act as filters, and they’re able to terminate viruses and bacteria so that infections don’t spread.
When there is cancer within the lymph system, this is known as lymphoma. There are dozens of different types of lymphomas.
Perhaps the most famous type is Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is cancer in the blood. While lymphoma can definitely take a toll on people, it’s not unbeatable.
If you or a loved one is currently fighting lymphoma, then continue reading and we’ll walk you through some tips on how lymphoma patients can better care for themselves.
Your medical treatment is going to depend on the stage that the cancer is in. If you have stage 1 cancer, then that means only a few lymph nodes are affected. Having stage 4 cancer means that it has spread to other organs or to the bone marrow.
Radiation therapy can be used to shrink and destroy cancerous cells. Doctors can also prescribe chemotherapy medications in order to kill cancer cells.
Biological therapies might also be employed to destroy cancerous B-cells. The drug rituximab is one example of this type of therapy.
In some circumstances, a stem cell or bone marrow transplant is used to strengthen healthy immune system cells. Doctors might harvest these tissues or cells before radiation and chemotherapy treatments start. Relatives also might be able to donate bone marrow.
While you’re being treated for lymphoma, your immune system is going to be especially vulnerable. And you’ll be at risk for infections. You also might experience side effects of the treatment, which might include weight loss and fatigue.
By eating healthy meals, you’ll be able to strengthen your immune system, maintain your weight and energy levels, and keep your body strong and healthy.
If you’re currently undergoing chemotherapy, then you might notice gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea and nausea. This can make it even harder for you to maintain a healthy diet.
During this phase of your treatment, it’s extremely important that you eat a diet that’s going to give your body all of the nutrients that it needs. Your nutritional needs will vary based on a variety of factors. These factors can include your medical history, stage of treatment, age, and diagnosis.
Because of this, it’s very important that you work with your healthcare provider in order to come up with a wellness plan that’s going to be right for you. Your provider might give you advice about your dietary needs, or they might suggest that you see a dietician.
Eating During Chemotherapy
The side effects of chemotherapy might make it difficult for you to eat. If you have difficulty consuming solid food, then you should consider liquid options. These options can include soup, juice, and protein shakes.
Soft foods can also help to minimize the pain that occurs when swallowing. Blending your vegetables and fruits into a smoothie can also help.
If you have trouble with finishing your meals, then break your food up into smaller servings and just eat more throughout the day. You should do your best to not skip meals and also make sure that you stay hydrated, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
Drinking fluids can help with symptoms like constipation and fatigue.
There are several alternative therapies and possible natural cures for lymphoma that you should consider. Let’s look at some of the most common ones below.
This is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine. The procedure involves poking small needles into points throughout the body. The goal of this treatment is to unblock energy, known as qi, and realign your energy pathways.
Acupuncture might be able to help with reducing vomiting that’s caused by chemotherapy and it can also help to reduce pain.
There are several alternative therapies that can help to reduce pain and stress that are associated with lymphoma treatment. These therapies can help you balance your body and your mind. Some of these therapies include:
- tai chi
- massage therapy
Meditation is also a popular form of stress therapy that can essentially be done anywhere.
Another traditional treatment that’s used for nausea is ginger. This spice is often used to treat pregnant women who are nauseous. It can also help with nausea that’s caused by chemotherapy.
Ginger can be taken in several kinds of ways. Some people like to chew ginger gum or eat candied ginger. Other people prefer to take ginger in pill form, although you can also drink it as a beverage.
If you consume ginger often, you should speak to your doctor, as it could interfere with other cancer treatments.
The Importance of Knowing How to Help Yourself in the Fight Against Lymphoma
Lymphoma can be a tough disease to overcome. But by following the tips listed above, and with plenty of resistance and persistence, you can better your chances of defeating it. Of course, you should always consult your doctor when you’re considering alternative medicines and it’s always good to get a second opinion.
And remember, a positive attitude can do wonders for the body too.
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