Medical Dictionary of Bone Cancer

C A N C E R  I N F O R M A T I O N

Lymph Nodes Cancer

Lymph nodes cancer can develop in two ways. Lymph nodes cancer can start out as the primary cancer in person’s body or a person can get lymph nodes cancer from a primary cancer source elsewhere in the body that has spread. If someone has lymph nodes cancer and it has came from another part of the body this is referred to as metastatic cancer or secondary cancer. Lymph nodes cancer that starts as the primary cancer is known as lymphoma.

Cancer can spread in the body because cancerous tumors are comprised of millions of cells. When some of them break away from the primary cancer area and get into the bloodstream and travel they can stay in a dormant place in the body for years or they can begin to grow in these regions and tumors can form. When someone has lymph nodes cancer and it is a secondary cancer – the cancer cells taken from the lymph nodes will look like the cancer cells from the primary cancer source.

Many times when a tumor is located in the body a surgeon will remove it, as well as nearby lymph nodes. They can view the lymph nodes to determine if the cancer has spread to them. This helps doctors understand the cancer and it also helps them estimate the patient’s risk of the cancer coming back.

One of the more common symptoms of lymph nodes cancer is that the lymph nodes may feel hard or become enlarged. Yet, it is important to note that if there is only a small number of cancer cells in the lymph nodes there may be no swelling or hardness. That is why it is important that a portion of the lymph nodes be removed and examined. It is also important to note that the lymph nodes can become enlarged for a number of reasons and it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has lymph nodes cancer.

Treatment for lymph nodes cancer will be dependent upon the individual. Certain things will be taken into consideration such as whether the lymph nodes cancer is primary or secondary and the patient’s general health. Treatment may include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy hormonal therapy or a combination of one or more of these treatments.

When cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes near a primary cancerous tumor chemotherapy is generally recommended.  This is because if the primary or original cancer has spread to the lymph nodes the patient is at risk for the cancer having spread to other areas of the body, too. Chemotherapy treatements can greatly reduce the chances of the cancer coming back.

Finding out you have lymph nodes cancer can be very shocking. You will probably have many emotions that run the gaumet. You may feel everything from guilt, anger and sadness to rage, indifference or a numbing shock. All of these emotions are normal as your mind tries to adjust with the diagnosis. It is important that you find ways to cope with your emotions. Finding someone to talk to about your feelings and health can go a long way in helping you face the situation.

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