Lymphocytes are immune fighting cells that are present all over our body and make up our lymphatic system. Lymphoma is a cancer of these cells. Various types of lymphoma have been identified, and each possesses their own qualities that can make them fast-growing or slow-growing tumors. Lymphocytes that are affected are B cells and T cells, which play a role in mounting an immune response. There are 80 subtypes of lymphomas.
Two major categories of lymphomas are: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Hodgkin’s lymphoma makes up 10-15% of lymphoma diagnoses in North America. 85% of individuals that are diagnosed are male. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma almost always starts in the lymph nodes and is very treatable. Non-Hodgkin’s (NHL) make up 85-90% of lymphomas. Different subtypes of NHL have a variation in growth rates, progression and response to therapy. The subtypes vary with age and sex of the individuals affected. Non-Hodgkin’s’ lymphoma fatality rates are thirteen times higher than Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Risk factors of lymphoma include family history, history of viral infections and history of autoimmune disease such as Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There are no regular screening tools for lymphoma. It is usually detected once a patient already has symptoms. Biopsies are conducted in order to definitively diagnose a lymphoma.
Treatment of lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma a patient presents with. Conventional medical treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Naturopathic treatment strongly emphasizes supporting the immune system, targeting the lymphoma through various modalities including IV therapy and individualized supplementation. These are often used in combination with conventional medical treatment.
A common intravenous therapy that shows high regard in literature for use in lymphomas is high-dose vitamin C. Vitamin C at high doses is a pro-oxidative substance effective in fighting cancer cells. A study by Mikirova et al in 2012 showed that high dose vitamin C was effective in B cell lymphoma in reducing markers of inflammation, which in turn reduced the levels of tumor markers and tumor burden.
Quercetin is a supplement that has shown benefit in lymphoma cases. In 2012, Jacquemin et al demonstrated that Quercetin inactivates survivin and Mcl-1 expression, commonly associated with lymphoma growth.
Resveratrol is another supplement commonly used in lymphomas because of its ability to produce reactive oxidative species that induce apoptosis (or killing) of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma cases, as displayed by Hussain et al in 2011.
Please note that not all supplements and IV therapies are recommended in all types of lymphoma. It is recommended you work with a naturopathic doctor experienced in integrative cancer care to develop a plan that is appropriate for your case.
Please contact the Nardella Clinic today for more information.