Lymph node cancer has affected a countless number of lives, yet still remains unknown by most people. Before going over what the cancer itself is, an understanding of the lymph nodes first is important. The lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped organs that help fight disease and infection. They’re located in the neck, armpits, abdomen, and groin, and play a vital role in being able to stay healthy. The lymph nodes are also the canary in the coal mine for staging cancer – if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, it’s a strong sign that the cancer has progressed further than it should have. Cancer that begins in the nodes can be sensed by specific lymph node pain. If you’ve ever had a cold and felt painful bumps on your neck or armpit, those were your lymph nodes reacting. Lymph node cancer, commonly known as lymphoma, ratchets up that pain to a much larger degree. With this disease, radiation isn’t as useful as it is for many cancers – the lymph nodes don’t react well to the treatment. Surgery, and the removal of the lymph nodes, is one of few viable options. This has brought the community to continue to search for new treatment possibilities – something that requires support and awareness. Help generate both with this bright lime green wristband!
Written by Michele Wheat