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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lymphoma Awareness Month

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A month from now (Oct 17th) I'll be reminded of the loss of the greatest love I'll ever know...there's nothing like a mother's love.  I fully intend to do my best to be in good spirits on that day and celebrate the life she lived and the love she poured into me.

I couldn't let this month go by without speaking about Lymphoma and bringing awareness to this dreadful disease.  Not only did it take my mother but my (maternal) grandfather spent this year and last year dealing with a "diagnosis" of this cancer.  I can't praise God enough for turning it around as he is totally cancer free!

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in immune system cells called lymphocytes. Like other cancers, lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes are in a state of uncontrolled cell growth and multiplication.

Potential Risk Factors:  Genetics, Carcinogens and other Medical Factors (i.e. HIV, Hep B or C, Lupus, etc.)

Symptoms:  Depends on where the cancer is located, whether it's spread and how big the tumor(s) are, but most often shows up as painless lumps in either the neck, underarm,  or groin.  Also beware of rapid weight loss, continuous fever, excessive nights sweets, loss of appetite, among other things, in addition to the swelling.

Prevention:  Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent Lymphoma; however, physicians recommend avoiding known risk factors and avoiding viral infections or conditions that suppress the immune system.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease.  I pray that we are always aware of the risk factors/symptoms and are doing our best to keep an eye on our health with regular checkups and self exams.  Perhaps one day we'll be blessed with a cure!
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