The road to beating leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancers often takes patients through a stem cell transplant. But in curing the cancer, transplants can cause a host of other issues, one of which is a lung disorder called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, or BOS.
BOS blocks the flow of air to the small airways in the lungs and is very difficult to treat once it becomes advanced. About 10% of patients who survive a stem cell transplant develop BOS.
Unfortunately, BOS is also difficult to diagnose, so by the time it’s identified doctors are not able to reverse it. The goal becomes to stop it from getting worse. Only 1 in 5 patients will survive five years after a BOS diagnosis.
If you’ve been seeing red lights around the country, thank the Lymphoma Research Foundation for its campaign to add red lighting to raise awareness of blood cancers, in particular, lymphoma. What do you know about the two lymphomas?
Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes help fight infection and other diseases. Organs and tissue that have lymphocytes include the spleen (on the left side of the body under the ribcage), digestive tract (throat, stomach, intestines) bone marrow, thymus (small gland in front of the heart) and lymph nodes (found in the chest, abdomen, groin, arms and head and neck).
There are two main types of lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma. Continue reading →
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