Battling Beating Cancer – Lymphoma Signs, Symptoms Treatments With Dr. Leo Gordon

February 9, 2012 by  
Filed under CANCER, VIDEO

Battling Beating Cancer - Lymphoma Signs, Symptoms Treatments With Dr. Leo Gordon
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Melanoma, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Methotrexate

June 5, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

Methotrexate (MTX) is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) commonly prescribed to RA (rheumatoid arthritis patients).

Now, according to Australian researchers, increased risk of melanoma (including other malignancies) have in found in RA patients receiving MTX for treatment.

RA patients exposed to MTX were found to have an estimated 50 percent excess risk of developing cancer in any form. The risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was more than 5 times higher in RA patients than in the general population. RA patients also had a 3-fold increased risk of melanoma and almost a 3-fold increased risk of lung cancer.

While the increased risk levels for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer were in line with the findings of related studies in Europe and the United States, the high risk for melanoma stood out as novel.

This might be a warning for rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving MTX as treatment. Then why are RA patients put on MTX? Because when other medication have failed, MTX is used. Of course MTX has various side effects!

From MedlinePlus:

Methotrexate may cause very serious side effects. Some side effects of methotrexate may cause death.

Methotrexate may cause liver damage.

Methotrexate may cause liver damage.

Methotrexate may cause kidney damage.

Methotrexate may cause a decrease in the number of blood cells made by your bone marrow. T

Methotrexate may cause damage to your intestines.

Methotrexate may cause damage to your intestines.

Methotrexate may decrease the activity of your immune system, and you may develop serious infections.

Taking methotrexate may increase the risk that you will develop lymphoma (cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system).

If MTX treatment is that bad, why would anyone agree to be put on this? Also, do doctors still prescribe MTX for RA treatment?

Various studies have linked RA to an increased risk of Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, and lung cancer. A link between methotrexate (MTX), a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) commonly prescribed to RA patients, and cancer has also been suggested. Numerous case reports of RA patients treated with MTX developing lymphoma and, even more strikingly, tumors disappearing when the drug was discontinued, have prompted concern that MTX itself may be carcinogenic. So far, however, studies addressing this concern have been inconclusive.

Maybe the findings described above by Australian researchers could be the first conclusive linking MTX to various cancers, most especially melanoma.

A Quick Reference Guide to Hodgkin’s Disease

March 20, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

Hodgkin’s Disease (HD) or Hodgkin Lymphoma is a type of lymphoma, not to be confused with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Lymphoma is a cancer that begins at the cellular level of the immune system. For more information on lymphoma in general see the excellent article in our archives.

Hodgkin’s Disease is identified by the presence of the Reed-Sternberg cell.

Hodgkin’s Disease/Hodgkin Lymphoma is broken down into two basic types: Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (95% of all cases) and Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL). NLPHL is rare and is identified by a popcorn cell.

HD can start anywhere in the lymphatic system but usually begins in the lymph nodes of the chest, neck or under the arms. It can spread from node to node and into the blood stream.

Classic symptoms of HD:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the upper body that are painless
  • Painful lymph nodes after consuming alcohol
  • Unexplained weight loss, poor appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Itchy skin
  • Respiratory distress, or chest pain
  • Unexplained weakness or lethargy

These symptoms are very general and could indicate other diseases, which is why it is important to see a doctor right away for a complete physical. A follow up blood test, chest x-ray and/or CT or PET exam of the lymph nodes and spleen may be indicated. A biopsy (lymph node or bone marrow) is a final tool to check the cellular make-up of your lymphocytes.


Treatment plans will depend on the staging of the disease. Lymphoma has four stages. Stages 1 and 2 are limited disease and stages 3 and 4 indicate more extensive disease. Treatment is individualized and may include combination therapies.

Basic treatment modalities offered for HD may include:

Chemotherapy-Chemotherapy options for adult HD patients are discussed on the Lymphoma Network website.

Radiation-The basics of radiation therapy for the HD patient can be found on the Oncology Channel.

Stem Cell Transplant-For more information the National Cancer Institute provides a fact sheet called: Bone Marrow Transplantation and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation: Questions and Answers. It is in pdf format.

The American Cancer Society reports that in 2008 the estimated new cases and deaths from Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States are 8,220 new cases and 1,350 deaths.

Adults and children get HD but the most common groups are young adults (ages 15-40) and late adulthood (after 55).

Cause and Prevention:

The cause is unknown and so prevention of the disease is not possible.

There are disease indicators, those factors that have been found to be common or proven to indicate an increased risk per the American Cancer Society:

  • Epstein-Barr virus-the risk is somewhat higher in individuals who have had EBV which is the virus that causes mono.
  • Age-the age group characteristics listed above.
  • Gender-HD is slightly more prevalent in males than females
  • Geography-Most common in the U.S., Canada and northern Europe.
  • Family History Risk Factor-Much higher if you have a brother or sister with HD.
  • Socioeconomic-Higher risk is noted in people with a higher socioeconomic background.


**The New York Times features an in depth article called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in their Health Guide, dated today, March 20, 2008. This is an excellent resource. Print it out and save it.**

The American Cancer Society: Learn About Hodgkin’s Disease.

The Hodgkin’s Lymphoma page of the National Cancer Institute.

The Lymphoma Information Network:For information on Adult and Childhood Hodgkin’s Disease.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Cure Hodgkin’

The Lymphoma Research Foundation

For support: The Violet Ribbon Campaign: Uniting the Hodgkin’s Disease Community.

Please send a note if you have other valuable resources you would like mentioned.

Coffee News Creator ‘Never Gave Up’

July 26, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

coffee-news-creator-jean-daum.jpgThu, July 26, 2007


A Winnipeg entrepreneur who turned a coffee-break idea into a global success story has passed away at the age of 56.

Jean Daum created Coffee News after she had nothing to read but sugar packets while drinking coffee in a Winnipeg restaurant.

She lost her battle with lymphoma Monday night.

“She passed away very peacefully with her family at home,” said daughter Leslie Daum yesterday.

Coffee News — a one-page, double-sided sheet full of good news and quotes — has since spread to 1,000 franchises in 52 countries.

The free sheet of uplifting tidbits was first posted in Winnipeg restaurants in 1988 and maintains its worldwide headquarters in East Selkirk.

Jean continued to work until just six months ago.

She had also begun a book about her life with cancer that her family hopes to publish.

“She’s a role model and I followed in her footsteps completely,” said Leslie. “She never gave up.”

But the success did not come easily. A community paper Jean started in 1982 folded 2.5 years later, eventually leaving the single mom to Leslie, Candice and Jim thousands of dollars in debt.

“She went from being so broke that we ate crab apple pie for six months to being a millionaire because of one idea,” said Leslie.


Despite its growth as an affordable advertising option, Coffee News remains a family venture at its core.

Leslie and Candice not only run parts of the company but also write most of its content.

But the task of carrying on their mother’s legacy can be daunting.

“I don’t think anyone could quite fill those shoes. There was pretty much nothing she couldn’t do,” said Candice Daum.

Candice said Jean was an inspiration to her three children, boyfriend Paul Janzen and plenty of colleagues.

“She’d been battling cancer for years, so we always assumed she’d beat it,” said close friend Wayne Browning. “She was a very progressive thinker. She was young when she passed but she had done so much.”

Bill Buckley, a Coffee News U.S. franchisee, said he marvelled at Daum’s ingenuity as a single Winnipeg mom who believed in her idea and stuck with it.

“We probably have eight to 10 million readers a week. What started as a little weekly publication in Winnipeg is now the largest franchise publication in the world,” said Buckley.

Copyright © 2007, Canoe Inc. All rights reserved

SOURCE: Winnipeg Sun

Lymphoplasmacytic Disorders

March 13, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

By Alison Cole

Lymphoplasmacytic disorder is a disease that affects the lymphoplasmacyte cells that produce monoclonal light chained immunoglobulins, which are part of the immune system.

Light chain deposit disease is a lymphoplasmacytic disorder that has uncommon monoclonal gammopathy (IgG). The symptoms should be monitored carefully in patients who also have renal disease. The diagnosis of this disease is easy when monoclonal light chains are present in the serum or urine and the renal biopsy exhibits typical morphological changes and stains for kappa or lambda light chains. It becomes difficult to diagnose when the patient does not have a known lymphoplasmacytic disorder and the monoclonal light chains are detectable only erratically.

Waldenstrom¹s macroglobulinemia (WM) is a well-known malignant disorder of lymphoplasmacytic cells that produce a monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM). The standardized criterion that is now established for diagnosis of this disease, includes the presence of any IgM monoclonal protein and marrow and nodal lymphoplasmacytic cells in the blood and its hyperviscosity due to increased levels of a class of heavy proteins called macroglobulins. A distinctive feature of WM is the presence of an IgM monoclonal protein that is produced by the cancer cells, and a simultaneous decrease in levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins IgG and IgA.

Many symptoms are due to the effects of the IgM paraprotein that produces autoimmune phenomenon and due to the hyperviscosity syndrome, which is attributed to the IgM monoclonal protein increasing the viscosity of the blood. Symptoms of this are manifested mainly as neurologic symptoms and can include blurring or loss of vision, headache, and at times stroke.

Monocyte function is abnormal in patients with multiple myeloma and can be further reversibly inhibited by high paraprotein levels. Further research is needed to confirm and ascertain whether monocyte function can be normalized using chemotherapy or growth factors, and whether they could be used in the treatment of this currently incurable condition.

In recent years, after intense research and study, autologous bone marrow transplantation has been included to the available treatment options.

Lymphoma provides detailed information on Lymphoma, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Lymphoma Symptoms and more. Lymphoma is affiliated with Breast Cancer Symptoms.

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Lymphoma Symptoms

March 7, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

By Alison Cole

One of the most important factors in determining the survival rate or chances for remission of cancer patients is early detection. Some cancers where this is very true include breast cancer and prostate cancer because early detection of the disease makes it easier to treat since the cancer is usually just found in one localized area. With regard to lymphomas, the same principle applies; early detection of lymphomas has been proven to lead to higher survival rates. The key to early detection is an awareness of symptoms that indicate the presence of a lymphoma. Fortunately, research on this topic is extensive and provides a wealth of information that can help people detect the symptoms of lymphoma.

Some Common Symptoms

Almost all lymphomas exhibit some general and specific symptoms, which depend largely on the type of lymphoma. One of the most common symptoms among lymphomas is the swelling of lymph nodes, which often occur in the upper body. These swollen nodes are not painful, which is what distinguishes it from an ordinary case of an infected lymph node, where the swelling comes with pain. Other common symptoms include a lack of energy and dramatic weight loss. Due to the effects that lymphomas have on the immune system, increased incidences of fever and infections are also another common set of symptoms among lymphoma patients. Other symptoms include night sweats and itching deep in the skin.

Some of the more specific symptoms include lower back pain, which could be the result of the enlarged lymph node impinging on some nerves, pain in the lymph nodes after alcohol consumption, and skin patches or lesions. In addition to these symptoms, one of the most common ways by which this disease is diagnosed is through routine x-rays; these machines are powerful enough to detect any swelling in the lymph nodes of a person.

As with any cancer, early detection can also increase the chances of survival for a person who suffers from lymphoma. Given this, people need to be aware of the symptoms that they should look out for to help them detect the disease early and to get the appropriate treatment. Fortunately, the extensive research on lymphoma and it systems allow people to do just that.

Lymphoma provides detailed information on Lymphoma, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Lymphoma Symptoms and more. Lymphoma is affiliated with Breast Cancer Symptoms.

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Infusion Clinic Opening Here In Winnipeg In January 2007

December 17, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

There is an article in today’s Winnipeg Free Press by Jen Skerrit ..

Source: Winnipeg Free Press – Cancer Meds For Those Who Have The Cash

Alternate Source: Therapeutics Daily – Cancer meds for those who have the cash

Both of the above links might be limited by subscription only …

Sun Dec 17 2006


A private infusion clinic scheduled to open in Winnipeg this January will allow patients to pay out of their own pockets for pricey specialty cancer drugs not covered by CancerCare Manitoba.
This marks the first time patients will be able to access the latest intravenous cancer treatments, from Herceptin to Avastin, within the province on their own dime.

Pharmaceutical giant Roche Canada is teaming up with Bayshore Infusion Clinics Inc. and McKesson Canada, a pharmaceutical distributor, to offer the costly meds, which range in price from $20,000 to $40,000 for one year of treatment. Patients need a prescription for the medication from their oncologist before they are referred to the infusion clinic.

The clinic will be staffed by medical professionals. It is called an infusion clinic because it only administers IV drugs for patients.

Sabrina Paiva, spokeswoman for Roche Canada, was unable to say where in Winnipeg the clinic might be located.


Basically .. drugs that are offered at these clinics are:

* RITUVANFor lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis – Selectively depletes certain cells and their role in cancer and automimmune diseases like arthritis

* AVASTINFor colon cancer – Health Canada approved the drug last year after it was shown to limit blood flow to tumours

* TARCEVAFor lung cancer – Used to treat advanced non-small-cell lung cancer after at least one failed chemotherapy treatment

* HERCEPTINFor breast cancer – May block tumour growth in early breast cancer stages where patient has HER2 protein. Is covered for patients who meet criteria set by doctors.

Infusion clinics are already operating in 18 Canadian cities, and nine more are set to open in cities across Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia next month.

It’s a two-tiered system … Alan Katz, a researcher with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy says .. The province can’t afford to pay for these drug treatments that could extend the lives of certain patients, and patients are frustrated they can’t access them.
© 2006 Winnipeg Free Press. All Rights Reserved

What Is Lymphoma?

December 12, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

By Jeff Kimball

Most folks diagnosed with any type of cancer notice it hugely difficult to agree with their predicament. The typical reaction of patients and their family is disbelief of their disease. However, cancer is something that won’t go away quietly because you avoid its existence. It is therefore better to determine as much as possible of the illness and learn how to attack it than to simply hide and wait for the unavoidable to happen. In the case of people with lymphoma, it is critical that you should understand what is going on in your body and be ready for any circumstance. Many things can happen to people with lymphoma, as this type of cell anomaly is rather mobile compared to other forms of cancers.

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that assaults the lymphocytes. The lymphocytes are defined by medical science as any of the nearly colorless cells found in the blood, lymph, and lymphoid tissues, constituting approximately 25 percent of white blood cells and including B cells, which function in humoral immunity, and T cells, which act in cellular specific immunity. So you should know that lymphocytes are not only most mobile as it is carried in the blood, it is also part of the body’s typical protective armor called the immune system.

Like all forms of cancers, the cells divided abnormally or too quickly in folks with lymphoma. Abnormal lymphocytes most often collect in the lymph nodes making the lymph nodes enlarge. However, swollen lymph nodes does not necessarily mean you have lymphoma as there are other forms of diseases that lead to the swelling of lymph nodes. There are many forms of lymphomas; however, the most popular classification is Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is named after Thomas Hodgkin who discovered this line of cancer in 1832, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which includes all other forms of lymphoma.

Lymphocytes are part of the ordinary circulation of the human body. Since lymphoma assaults the lymphocytes, aside form the lymph nodes; the abnormal lymphocytes have access to individual parts of the human body. Although in most cases, the spleen and the bone marrow are the favorite spots where abnormal lymphocytes would gather and form lymphoma exclusive of of the lymph nodes, there are some everyone who can develop lymphoma in the liver, the stomach, and in very rare cases, in the brain. Lymphoma can form almost everywhere in the body and it is not uncommon for lymphoma to occur all at once in different parts of the human body. This is why lymphoma is considered one of the systemic diseases that affects the entire human physiology.

Indications of lymphoma are frequently affiliated with the swollen glands. As the unnatural lymphocytes no longer performs it typical functions of protecting the body from infections, the person with lymphoma become more prone to infections of any breed. It should be noted that part of the functions of the lymphocytes in the human body involves assisting the body’s immune system in fighting off infection and other forms of diseases. Where a person has lymphoma, his or her immune system is now impaired and he or she can no longer fight infections efficiently.

Read more here: Lymphoma Cancer Information Portal

Jeff Kimball is a health and wellness writer and a guest writer for and contributing editor to their Lymphoma Cancer Information Portal

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The Pluck Factor

December 3, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

By Carolina Fernandez

Plucky (pluk’e) adj. Brave and spirited; courageous.

Have you ever noticed how few people possess radiating energy? How eyes lack sparkle and how few real smiles there are out there? How almost no one looks you in the eyes when you talk or how few people have truly gracious social skills? One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the lack of charisma or magnetism or exuberance among people everywhere!

So when I met Lorraine and Cam, I was immediately drawn to their energy. To their lit-up eyes, frequent laughter and bubbly personalities. Now they’re not particularly bubbly as in “effervescent.” No, they are actually more on the subdued side. But when one talks to them, their eyes twinkle. They smile when they talk. They maintain fabulous eye contact. Good upbringing? Perhaps. I’ve met both of their parents, even though one set lives in Scotland and the other in England (and we live up here in Connecticut in New England) and they are, indeed, darling people.

It’s even more amazing that we were drawn to each other with laughter and happy-talk considering the common thread that brought us together in the first place: leukemia. Their sixteen-month-old daughter, Katie, was diagnosed just before our seventeen-year-old son, Nick, was. Both children are treated by the same team of doctors. We met, for the first time, in the west wing of Yale’s Children’s Hospital. All of us were scared and admittedly, in a rather sad state.

Yet we continued, throughout treatments for our kids, to help each other get through them. I chased Katie around the chemo clinic when Lorraine and Cam were simply too worn out to do so, or held her when she needed a finger-stick and kicked the nurses too hard to get it done; we read stories together and sometimes she let me rock her to sleep. We colored, watched Dora the Explorer and played with puzzles. Cam engaged Nick in talk or made coffee and bagel runs for all of us. Lorraine kept me company and together, we helped keep each other’s spirits high.

They are back at the hospital, this time at Sloan Kettering, as Katie has undergone a bone marrow transplant this past week. It required weeks of pre-transplant consultations, tests, radiation and chemo. It also required Lorraine and Cam to temporarily set up house in New York City, in a rental apartment a couple blocks from Katie’s hospital room.

Some of us might complain about the difficulty of this situation. About lack of personal time, poor hospital food for weeks on end. Of watching our own children endure rigorous testing and annoying, seemingly endless blood work. Of the unfairness of the circumstances.

But not Lorraine and Cam. They maintain a positive attitude and continue to deal with every little detail with spunky, feisty attitude. They possess an enormously high “Pluck Factor.” They have a “to-heck-with-you-attitude” when people get in their way. They trudge through their days with laughter and verve. Hospital food the pits? No worries. Lorraine brings to Katie’s hospital room a crock pot along with bags full of groceries. When nurses wander in from the aroma of a slow-cooking roast and firmly let her know that she’s breaking all the rules, she tells them that she’s not dealing with the crummy food they’re trying to serve her. When little Katie does something adorable, Lorraine sends out an email blast for all of us to enjoy the moment. During the actual transplant, a video was made and we all got to witness closely (albeit from a distance) what it was really like. The video clips were amazing…..And afterwards? She and Cam celebrated with champagne and scrumptious food at a local French bistro.

Forget sad faces and going along with the ho-hum motions that most people simply accept as part of the circumstances. Lorraine and Cam have decided to maintain a spirit of resolve and a completely positive mental attitude in order to get through these days with grace. They let no one, and nothing, stand in their way. Katie’s well-being is their over-riding concern, and all of their efforts are directed to that end.

Strong-minded people serve as tremendous inspirations for me. When life throws you a curve ball, a U-turn, a disappointment or an unpleasant surprise, the outcome will oftentimes be greatly dependent on the way in which you handle yourself during those times. It takes practically no strength of character to be charming and adorable when everything is going your way. It’s when things get dicey that your true character reveals itself. And that’s when you need a high Pluck Factor. When you need to be courageous, to turn the ordeal into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. To show your true colors, and your grit and the stuff of which you are made.

Many readers of this Newsletter are going through ordeals at this very moment. I know so because you write and tell me of them, and my heart goes out to each and every one of you. I hope this letter finds you determined to increase the Pluck Factor by just a little bit. To hold your head up high and courageously get through these days as have my dear friends Lorraine and Cam. You will serve as wonderful role models for someone else who, one day, will need to exhibit a high dose of pluck, too.

Carolina Fernandez earned an M.B.A. and worked in investment banking and as a stockbroker before coming home to work as a wife and mother of four. She totally re-invented herself along the way. Strong convictions were born about the role of the arts in child development; ten years of homeschooling and raising four kids provide fertile soil for devising creative parenting strategies. These are played out in ROCKET MOM! 7 Strategies To Blast You Into Brilliance. It is widely available online, in bookstores or through 888-476-2493. She writes extensively for a variety of parenting resources and teaches other moms via seminars, workshops, keynotes and monthly meetings of the ROCKET MOM SOCIETY, a sisterhood group she launched to “encourage, equip and empower moms for excellence.” Please visit

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Report: Cancer rates high for WTC workers

June 11, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

NEW YORK, NY, United States (UPI) — Nearly 300 rescue and recovery workers from the World Trade Center site have been diagnosed with cancer since Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Post reports.

Blood-cell cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and Hodgkin`s disease are being reported at a much higher rate than normal from World Trade Center rescue workers, attorney David Worby told the Post.

Doctors say these cancers typically strike three to five years after exposure to toxins such as benzene, which was widespread at the Trade Center site due to burning jet fuel, the newspaper said.

Worby`s law firm Worby, Groner, Edelman, & Napoli, has filed a class-action lawsuit with 8,000 participants.

Dr. Robin Herbert of Mount Sinai Hospital would not say the cancers are directly related to the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but told the Post that there have been several ‘red flags.’

Thirty-three workers have died of cancer since the attacks, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

MORE: Washington Times

MORE: 9-11 Research

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.