Receiving a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (or non-Hodgkin lymphoma) can be frightening and a bit overwhelming. One of the best things you can do for your parent after a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is to become informed. Learning everything you can about the condition can help you to stay on top of your parent’s care needs and keep home health care providers informed about any changes.
Cancer in the White Blood Cells
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a form of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system and also works to help move fluids through the body. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma starts in the lymphocytes, which are white blood cells. There are two kinds of lymphocytes, the B cells that make antibodies for fighting germs and the T cells. There are many different kinds of T cells that perform different jobs, such as destroying germs and abnormal cells.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can start in either kind of white blood cell. The type of lymphoma that develops depends on which kind of lymphocyte it starts in and how mature the cell was when the cancer began, as well as some other factors. As a result, there are greater than 30 different kinds of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Your parent’s treatment of the disease will depend on the kind of lymphoma they have, so it is important that you ask the doctor about the type and the plan for treatment.
Because there is lymph tissue in many different places throughout the body, lymphoma can occur almost anywhere in the body.
Some of the major places where lymph tissue is found are:
- Digestive tract.
- Lymph nodes.
- Bone marrow.
- Adenoids and tonsils.
Treating Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Sometimes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma does not require treatment because it is slow-growing, or indolent. In those cases, doctors monitor the disease and do not take action until it is necessary. Your parent will likely need to see the doctor every few months to check on the cancer in order to determine when or if treatment will be necessary.
In fast-growing, or aggressive, lymphoma cases, there are several kinds of treatment that your parent’s doctor may recommend.
Treatment methods include:
- Radiation therapy.
- Stem-cell transplant.
- Immune system enhancing medications.
- Medications that take radiation to the cancer cells.
Ways Your Parent’s Home Health Care Provider Can Help
If your parent is newly diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a home health care provider can help your parent and you through the difficult days ahead.
Some of the ways a home health care provider can help are:
- Driving your parent to medical appointments.
- Reminding your parent to take medications.
- Assisting your parent with tasks around the house when they don’t feel well enough to handle them alone.
- Preparing healthy meals.
- Providing a sense of support and comfort so that your parent does not feel alone.
- Giving you peace of mind knowing that someone is checking in on your parent and making certain they are safe.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Renton WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.