nursing care for lymph node cancer

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what are lymph nodes?

Content is medically reviewed by:

Dr. Udaya Kumar Maiya (MBBS, MD, DNB(RT), DCCF (Paris), Medical Director, Portea.

Lymph nodes are small and bean-shaped organs. Their role in the body is to produce and store the white blood cells(also known as lymphocytes) that fight off illnesses and infections. Part of the lymphatic system that removes cell waste and lymphatic fluid, lymph nodes are present throughout the body.

lymph node cancer definition

Cancer in the lymph nodes is termed as Lymph Node Cancer. It can start in the lymph nodes or spread from other parts of the body.

lymph node cancer types

There are 2 Lymph Node Cancer Types that can affect the lymph nodes either directly or indirectly.

  1. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Lymph Node Cancer starts at the lymph nodes and causes swelling and pain in the lymph nodes.
  2. Metastatic Cancer: Cancer starts in some other part of the body and spreads to the lymph nodes.

lymph node cancer symptoms

Since there is more than one type of Lymph Node Cancer, we shall tackle them separately.

Lymph Node Cancer Symptoms in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Sweating and chills
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or a cough
  • Lymph Node Cancer Symptoms in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
  • Severe itching
  • Increased sensitivity after consuming alcohol.

Lymph Node Cancer Symptoms due to Metastatic Cancer:

  • Enlarged or swollen lymph nodes
  • Breathlessness
  • Backache

Sometimes there are no symptoms at all.

Lymph Node Cancer Causes

The exact cause of Lymph Node Cancer is unknown, but generally, cancer occurs when there is an unnatural growth of abnormal cells that spread instead of being shut down by the lymphatic system.

Lymph Node Cancer causes the lymph nodes to be affected one after the other in case of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, tumors can skip nodes and follow no pattern.

Since the lymphatic system is present throughout the body, the Lymph Node Cancer causes the liver, bone marrow and or lungs to get affected as well.

lymph node cancer stages

In Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, there are 3 Lymph Node Cancer Stages.

  1. Stage 1: Cancer is found in the lymph Nodes
  2. Stage 2: Cancer is in 2 or more nodes
  3. Stage 3: Cancer has spread to either side of the diaphragm Or Cancer has spread throughout the body.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma also has similar stages of progression.

lymph node cancer diagnosis

Lymph Node Cancer Screening tests do not exist. So, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above that are persistent, it is advised to see a doctor who can diagnose your symptoms. It is highly recommended that one should not indulge in self-diagnosis or start Lymph Node Cancer treatment at home.

Lymph Node Cancer Diagnosis can be confirmed through various Lymph Node Cancer tests.

  • Blood Tests and Biopsies: This Lymph Node Cancer diagnostic test can detect the presence of Lymphoma and distinguish between Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s.
  • Imaging: Imaging through MRI, CT Scan or X-Ray also come under the category Lymph Node Cancer tests. An Ultrasound or PET scan can also be performed to diagnose Lymphoma.
  • Spinal Tap: Another type of Lymph Node Cancer diagnostic test is a spinal tap where a long, thin needle is inserted in the spine while the patient is under local anesthesia.

The various Lymph Node Cancer Stages can be confirmed through the diagnostic tests. It is hugely dependent on the type, growth rate, and cellular characteristics. Staging can also help determine the ideal Lymph Node Cancer treatment.

As mentioned earlier, Lymph Node Cancer Screening tests are not performed routinely. However, certain risk factors make a person more prone to having the disease.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, location, Autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiency, and obesity play a significant role in determining whether a person is at higher risk.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Infectious mononucleosis, age, sex, location, genetic, affluence, and HIV are some of the significant risk factors in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

lymph node cancer treatment

Lymph Node Cancer Treatment is not easy and depends on a variety of factors. That includes the size of the tumor and location as well as how far cancer has spread.

Surgery is an option that may be used to treat metastatic cancer. Other options in Lymph Node Cancer treatment include chemotherapy, stem cell transplant or radiation.

Lymph Node Cancer treatment at home is also an option for people who do not wish to go through surgery. This Lymph Node Cancer home treatment may include naturopathy, Ayurveda, and homeopathy. However, this must be discussed thoroughly with the doctor first.

Depending on the type of treatment, Lymph Node Cancer care differs to allow the patient to recover fully. It is essential to understand the risks, side-effects, and benefits of each treatment before undergoing them. At the hospital, trained nurses for lymph node cancer can skillfully guide you through the recovery process.

lymph node cancer home treatment

Once it is time for the patient to return home, Lymph Node Cancer care at home must continue along with routine visits to the doctor.

Lymph Node Cancer care can take a toll on the caregiver if they are a family member or a close friend. It is recommended that you hire experienced nurses for Lymph Node Cancer care.

Lymph Node Cancer Treatment at home entails making sure that the patient takes their medicines on time, and makes it to the doctor regularly. Lymph Node Cancer care at home may also require the caregiver to help the patient with daily tasks as treatment such as chemotherapy can render the patient weak.

how can we help?

Lymph Node Cancer is not preventable but can be arrested with the right Lymph Node Cancer treatment.  Portea is an at-home healthcare service provider through which Lymph Node Cancer home treatment can be easily facilitated. Give us a call to gain access to world-class Lymph Node Cancer care at home.

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