About half of all cancers of the blood fall into the category of lymphoma. This is a cancer of the lymphatic cells of the body, which are a major part of the body’s immune system. Leukemia, another cancer of the blood system which can appear in lymphatic cells, is related to, but distinct from lymphoma in a couple of ways. Leukemia is actually a range of disorders that generally effect either the circulating blood cells or the bone marrow where they are produced. It results in an overproduction of blood cells or the production of cells that are malformed.Lymphoma is different. It usually appears as a tumor, an enlargement or agglomeration of cells that takes on a solid mass. These tumors may develop variously, but the lymph nodes are a common site. As mentioned before, lymphoma tumors may develop variously, leading to a somewhat confusing system of classification for the disease. In the main, however, there are two types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Hodgkin’s lymphoma is so named because it was discovered by Thomas Hodgkin in the 1830s. It is a cancer of the lymphatic system in which malignant cells gradually but steadily spread throughout the lymph system. They move methodically from lymph node to lymph node, creating tumorous masses. Treatment consists of chemotherapy, in general, but this depends on the patient’s age, the stage of the cancer, and how healthy they otherwise are.Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is less straight-forward when it comes to classification. There have been a few different attempts to build a consistent taxonomy of the cancer, each one superseded by a newer system. The current one, developed by the World Health Organization, is based on the type of cell that is effected. For example, whether it is a T cell or a B cell (these are both parts of the immune system).This is not mere scientific squabbling. The type of cancer present can mean large differences in treatment applied to the patient. Some types of lymphoma are so passive they do not pose much risk to the patient, even if left undisturbed by medicine. Other types spread with a relentless aggressiveness that quickly results in death. Both types of lymphoma have similar symptoms: mysterious fevers, sweating or chills at night, unexplainable fatigue. These are all vague ailments that share their lack of acuteness with leukemia. A trip to the doctor after extended periods of experiencing symptoms is usually what alerts people to their condition.The causes of lymphoma are somewhat mysterious, though there is some connection with diseases of the immune system. If you have suffered from HIV or Epstein-Barr virus, you are at an increased risk of developing lymphoma. There are numerous other risk markers including age, gender, family history, and environment. It seems that the best one can do is try to lead a healthy lifestyle, and avoid mostly preventable infections such as HIV. Otherwise, there is little one can actively do to avoid this illness short of having good luck.
Lymphosarcoma is one of the most common types of cancers seen. It is also referred to as lymphoma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In dogs, many different species develop Lymphosarcoma. Like any other cancer, this one can “metastasize”, which means it can spread and affect other organs and tissues.Most dogs get a type of Lymphosarcoma that originates the lymph nodes and usually the nodes under the jaw get swollen. Sometimes this is the only symptom your dog will have. But the jaw is not the only place where this disease can begin. Some forms of Lymphosarcoma begin in the bone marrow, the chest, abdomen, or even the skin.RENAL LYMPHOSARCOMAWhen the disease attacks the kidney first, the illness is called Renal Lymphosarcoma. The symptoms include drinking a lot of fluids and urinating a lot. Also vomiting can appear and also loss of appetite. The pet can even get depressed.MEDIASTINAL LYMPHOSARCOMAThe Mediastinum is the tissue near the heart and lungs. The cancer creates a tumor there and the pet has hard time breathing and the lung accumulate fluid.BONE MARROW LYMPHOSARCOMA: LEUKEMIAWhen the cancer has started or reaches the bone marrow, then it is called Leukemia. The cancer affects the blood. The bone marrow’s role is to create red blood cells that carry oxygen, white blood cells that destroy infection and platelets that help blood to clot. The cancer causes these types of cells to drop in numbers and it causes: infections, anemia and bleeding disorders.DIAGNOSISThe vets do a tissue biopsy to determine the disease. Is the microscopic analysis of the tissue reveals that the disease is present, a detailed exam follows. This exam will show if the disease has spread in other body areas. The vets call this “STAGING”.The diagnostic Procedures used to “STAGE” include:- Different blood tests- Cytology – analyzing cells in the large lymph nodes and taking a look at them under the microscope. – X-Rays- Ultrasound- Bone Marrow AnalysisStaging helps the doctors figuring out the best way of treatment.TREATMENTMore than 90 perfect of the dogs that get chemotherapy go into remission. This is not a cure but just a stage when quality of life is assured. A dog will normally have a stage of remission of about eight to ten months. Also, the dogs don’t get as many side effects as humans do. Less than 5% of the dogs get side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness and lethargy.The dogs don’t lose their hair after chemo, like people do. Only a few breeds get these side effects: Poodles and Old English Sheepdogs). Usually even they only lose their whiskers.CANCER DIETSWhen a dog undergoes a cancer treatment, it must have a good diet with lots of vitamins.