Jonathan suffered from Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Cancers of this category are known for it’s aggressive, uncontrollable growth of lymphocytes (white blood cells). With early diagnosis, the outcome can be improved.
All though there are more than 100 types of cancer with different symptoms, all cancers start with unusual cells growing uncontrollably. It is difficult to be conscious of the signs a cancer can give, but there are a few common symptoms that can increase awareness.
Often, only a number of combined signs and symptoms may lead medical professionals to suspect the presence of a cancer in a patient’s body. With a combination of different, correlating symptoms, doctors will be better able to narrow down the possible disease for deeper medical tests and possible treatment. A deeper medical procedure to test a patient on cancer commonly exist out of X-Ray and CT scans, blood tests and biopsy (tissue samples).
As cancer is a term for a broad group of diseases, it can cause almost any sign of symptom. The different factors for signs are determined by where the cancer starts and how big it is. Symptoms can increase and alter when a cancer has spread (metastasized), or when the cancer has formed a mass (tumor).
As cancer grows, it can begin to push nearby organs and nerves, which will allegedly cause the strongest signal of unusual activity in the body. The time in which this signal may start, is highly dependable of where the cancer starts.
Cancer can also consume the body’s energy or affect the way the body is creating energy. This leads to additional, common symptoms such as frequent or constant fever, fatigue (tiredness), weight loss, dizziness and night sweats. Cancer can cause (chronic) pain in advanced stages of development, as also happened to Jonathan.
Learn more about cancer related signs and symptoms here.
The urge and intensity of cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage of development and possible pre existing conditions of the patient. Methods of treatment can be roughly divided into A. conventional treatments, including surgery, chemo- and radiation-therapy. And B. modern treatment, including experimental research and treatments and alternative therapy. Treatment methods can also change over time depending on how the cells respond. For instance, bone marrow transplantation (stem cells) can be applied when a cancer has returned or relapsed (this was applied to Jonathan twice).
Side effects can vary per treatment. Common side effects include; nausea and vomiting, pain, fatigue (weight loss), dizziness (anemia) and swelling.
The results of treatments fluctuate, but highly relies on the stage in which the treatment has started after diagnoses. Additionally, besides the type of cancer and it’s stage, factors such as treatment frequency, gender, age and overall health can be of impact on the outcome.
How can I help people like Jonathan?
There are different organizations dedicated to researching, informing and to eliminating cancer. Highly recommended (regardless of your location) is to look into The American Cancer Society, for it’s exceptional activity in providing basic and detailed information, instant contact and free support for both patients as relatives of the patient.
Donations to The American Cancer Society will be used to keep providing service, as well as for funding research for better understanding and curing cancer.
As a more specific organization to the type of cancer Jonathan suffered from (Lymphoma), Lymphoma.org provides in depth information about this disease, offers educational activities for medical professionals and funds lymphoma research.
To find a location or cancer specific organisation focussed on treatment, research and support, this global list can be consulted.