Understanding the value of Palliative care in the treatment of Lymphoma and Leukemia can help make what seems to be a challenging diagnosis more manageable.
Lymphoma and Leukemia Explained
Cancer in the lymph nodes and blood system helps define multiple diseases that limit the viability of blood cells to ward off infections within the body, with lymphoma and leukemia the most common forms of cancer in this department. Abnormal cells that are cancerous in nature interfere with the lymphatic system or the bloodstream, which means that lymphoma or leukemia is present in the body.
The bone marrow is usually where leukemia first forms, either acutely or chronically. The acute version requires aggressive treatment, while chronic can be maintained through regular checkups.
The lymphatic system battle infections, but two key types of lymphoma compromise that ability. Approximately 30 different types of the more lethal Non-Hodgkin’s exist, while Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a more curable form of the disease.
Similarities regarding treatments, side effects and basic symptoms exist for both lymphoma and leukemia, but the diseases are different. Individuals who must battle either also have similar options with regard to Palliative care.
How to Define Palliative Care
Those with serious illnesses requiring medical care that’s specialized use a Palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care team. That’s because the stress of dealing with lymphoma and leukemia, not to mention the pain and symptoms involved will definitely have an impact on the lives of both the patient and family.
Armed with specialists, social workers, doctors and nurses that work in tandem to offer patient and doctor support, Palliative care can be used with curative treatment at any level of the disease and any age bracket.
Palliative Care’s Value During Lymphoma and Leukemia Treatment
Symptoms for lymphoma or leukemia are detected in a variety of ways, with depression and anxiety among the more subtle forms. Frequent and nagging infections or nose bleeds, joints or bones that ache, as well as night sweats or fevers are just some of the ways the disease manifests itself. Others include weight loss that can’t be explained, minor wounds that bleed or bruises and cuts taking much longer to heal.
Understanding complex information and relieving symptoms is what Palliative care specialists do, allowing the patient to battle lymphoma or leukemia on their own terms.
Making quick decisions is imperative for treating acute leukemia, which is why having Palliative care specialists to quickly assess available options available can be invaluable. This reduces the stress in determining the best options.
Aggressive treatments like chemotherapy will likely be needed in such cases. Side effects like nausea, fatigue and hair loss are common and can be alleviated through Palliative care treatments that also work for infections, weight loss or bleeding.
The psychological impact of the disease on children or young adults can
be devastating not only for the patient, but family as well. Using a social worker helps the patient and parents get a grasp of how to deal with the disease, primarily through communication.
Receiving Palliative Care
If a diagnosis has been given for either lymphoma or leukemia, the doctor will be able to refer the patient to Palliative care. This can take place at home, the hospital or an outpatient clinic, but quick decisions are imperative.
Should you or a loved one need the help of palliative care, the first step is to ask your physician for a referral or, contact Harbor Light Hospice directly to learn more about our compassionate palliative care services.