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149675 tn?1416673133

lymphoma and immune response

Hi I am new to this part of the forum. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 follicular lymphoma almost 2 years ago. It was initially discovered through a routine physical. I had and still have no symptoms and I am currently just doing a watch and wait. I was seen and the diagnosis made at Sloan Kettering in NYC.
My question to others is do they find that they find that they easily catch colds and get sick very easily? I am wondering since lymphoma is in your lymph system which is part of the immune system does this make it easier for me to get sick? I eat healthy, take various supplements, make and drink kefir, kombucha, saurkraut, Kimchi, etc. all in an effort to give my immune system all the help it can get and still I am THAT guy at work who catches everything. I figure there has to be a correlation. Does anyone else find this to be true?
4 Responses
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi, I'll note that weakened immunity in a person with a blood cancer mainly results when the cancer cells invade the marrow and displace the good cell precursors that make the immure cells. That results in a low WBC, which you'd see on a CBC test..

The other main way is when drugs kill off immune cells like neutrophils. Are you taking any pharmaceuticals?

On the other hand, an anti-lymphoma drug called Rituximab is used to deliberately kill off all the circulating B-cells, but surprisingly that rarely results in the person having weakened immunity.

Good luck to you.
149675 tn?1416673133
Thanks for responding Ken. I am not treating and I am currently in a watch and wait. My blood tests always come back good. I just find that I am THAT guy that catches everything. I take vitamins, eat healthy, and make al kinds of probiotic rich fermented foods like Kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. but I am still the guy that catches every cold, flu that comes down the pike. My wife for example is like a rock she rarely gets sick. I just wondered since follicular  lymphoma is in the lymph system, which is part of the immune system if there was a correlation. My thinking was that since the body is already fighting the lymphoma it is in a weakened state to fight off other invaders.
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
Well, your situation of always catching colds, etc, is not typical of lymphoma patients.

Unfortunately, your system is not fighting the lymphoma, else it would be wiped out (by your T-lymphocytes). The T-lymphocytes also are responsible for fighting viruses. Maybe your T-lymphocytes are not active enough. There is a blood test for that, used infrequently.

Your lymphoma is in the B-lymphocytes.
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
In other words, a person can have a sufficient number of immune cells (as shown on a CBC test) but sometimes they are not sufficiently active.
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