Lymphoma cause, prevention and treatment of lymphoma with herbs, vitamins, supplements, and natural diet options
January 2 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system - the body's blood-filtering tissues that help to fight infection and disease. Like other cancers they occur when cells divide too much and too fast. Growth control is lost, and the lymphatic cells may overcrowd, invade, and destroy lymphoid tissues and metastasize (spread) to other organs.
   There are two general types of lymphomas: "Hodgkin's Disease" (named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who first recognized it in 1832) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The lymphatic tissue in Hodgkin's disease contains specific cells - Reed-Sternberg cells - that are not found in any other cancerous lymphomas or cancers. These cells distinguish Hodgkin's disease (HD) from non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs).
     Non-Hodgkin's tumors occur more frequently than Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Diet and lymphoma, does food play a role?
Eating plenty of leafy greens, spinach, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and other vegetables may help reduce the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A higher intake of flavonoids, dietary components with several anti cancer activities, may be associated with lower non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk.

Supplements and herbs that could potentially be helpful
Fucoxanthin and its deacetylated product, fucoxanthinol.
Indole-3-carbinol is found in certain vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin D levels have been found to be lower in NHL and to be protective in HL.

Vitamin D insufficiency and prognosis in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
J Clin Oncology. 2010.
Vitamin D insufficiency is common in the United States, with low levels linked to higher cancer incidence, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Recent data also suggest that vitamin D insufficiency is related to inferior prognosis in some cancers, although there are no data for NHL. Our results show circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficiency was associated with inferior event-free survival and overall survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and T-cell lymphoma. Whether normalizing vitamin D levels in these patients improves outcomes will require testing in future trials.

Season of diagnosis is a prognostic factor in Hodgkin's lymphoma: a possible role of sun-induced vitamin D.
Br J Cancer. 2005. Institute for Cancer Research, Montebello, Oslo, Norway.
Vitamin D level exhibits seasonal variations. In the present work, we have investigated the effect of the season of diagnosis on the risk of death among Hodgkin's lymphoma patients diagnosed in Norway between 1964 and 2000. Epidemiological data for this period indicate that season of diagnosis is a strong prognostic factor for Hodgkin's lymphoma, with approximately 20% lower case fatality for patients diagnosed during autumn vs winter diagnosis. Notably, the improved autumnal survival rate was higher than 60% for patients younger than 30 years. This finding may be related to higher endogenous levels of vitamin D in autumn, with a favourable influence on the conventional therapy.

Posted on the Facebook page in 2012: My wife has been taking graviola for 3 months. She has follicular lymphoma. Her blood tests are now normal. Thanks to your web site.

Lymphoma symptom and sign
Symptoms of Lymphoma can vary widely depending on the type of lymphoma, and where the lymphoma is growing. A lymphoma symptom related to bone marrow dysfunction, such as anemia (low red blood cell count), may cause fatigue. Lymphoma in the gastrointestinal system may present as an upset stomach; or a change in bowel movement. Appetite loss could be a lymphoma symptom. Unfortunately, some of the symptoms of lymphoma are not common to this condition and make it difficult to initially diagnose. For instance, someone could have aches, fever, and chills and think they have the flu, but this could be a lymphoma symptom. The location of pain depends where the nodes are growing. Those who have a low white blood cell count could come down with an infection.

Non Hodgkin's lymphoma cause
Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are cancers of lymphoid tissue (lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs of the immune system). NHL is a collective term for several different types of immune-system malignancies. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are more than 70,000 new cases of NHL in the US each year, and more than 20.000 deaths from the disease. NHL incidence has risen by about 3% to 4% annually since the early 1970s.For most patients, the cause is unknown, but lymphomas may develop in people with suppressed immune systems as a result of organ transplantation, for instance, lymphomas can be slow-growing (low-grade) or rapidly growing (high-grade) cancer. The tumors are graded according to their level of malignancy (aggressiveness)-- low-grade, intermediate-grade or high-grade. Some people misspell the term as 'non Hodgkin lymphoma' or Nonhodgkins lymphoma.
   People with immune deficiencies, such as HIV / AIDS, are at heightened risk of developing the cancer. But whether other forms of "immune dysregulation" are related to non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk is unknown
   Infection with hepatitis C virus nearly doubles the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer involving the lymph nodes.
Specific viruses do contribute to certain non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes seen largely in Africa and Japan.
   Heavy smoking doubles the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive individuals who are heavy smokers have an approximately 4-fold elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. About 5 percent to 10 percent of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases could be prevented by persuading people to quit smoking and by integrated policies and health programs aimed at reducing HCV infection. People infected with hepatitis B virus are more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
   The risk of lymphoma is higher in people with inflammatory polyarthritis relative to that seen in the general population. Inflammatory polyarthritis is a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints. The incidence is higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and those who take disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. The highest risk is seen in patients treated with methotrexate.
   NHL seems to occur more frequently among people with diabetes than those without, possibly due to immune function changes in those with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 2008.
   There is an increased risk for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among farmers, printers, leather workers, medical professionals, and some electronic workers.
   Acetaminophen use can increase the risk.

Solvents and benzene
Women exposed to organic solvents on the job face an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. An organic solvent is any solvent containing carbon, and many, for example benzene and carbon tetrachloride, are known carcinogens. Chlorinated solvents are organic solvents containing chlorine which are also known to be hazardous to human health and the environment. American Journal of Epidemiology, January 15, 2009.
   People who live near gas refineries and manufacturing plants that release the chemical benzene into the environment are at increased risk for this blood cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Cancer, news release, July 29, 2013.

Sun exposure - good for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or harmful?
There has been conflicting reports regarding the benefit of sun exposure and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is not clear which of the following is more accurate.

Ultraviolet radiation exposure from time spent in the sun appears to boost the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It's been suggested that increasing exposure to ultraviolet radiation may be responsible, at least in part, for the observed increase in the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Recreational sun exposure could help reduce the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) possibly due to formation of vitamin D.

Non Hodgkins lymphoma symptom
Symptoms of non Hodgkin's lymphoma include enlarged lymph nodes (such as an armpit lump), isolated or widespread, fever, excessive sweating, and night sweats. Another symptom of non Hodkgin's lymphoma is unintentional weight loss.

Epstein-Barr virus as potential cause
Patients who have abnormal reactive blood patterns when exposed to Epstein-Barr virus appear to have an increased risk of lymphoma. Dr. Silvia de Sanjose of the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona and colleagues found that although Epstein-Barr virus is often thought to be benign, infection with this virus may lead to processes that can disturb the regulation of the immune system and increase the risk of cell transformation to malignancies.

Hodgkin's lymphoma
malignancy (cancer) of lymph tissue is found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow. Symptoms of include painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin (swollen glands), fatigue, fever and chills, night sweats, weight loss, and generalized itching.
   People who undergo chest radiation therapy early in life to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma appear to be at increased risk of cardiovascular abnormalities.
   This disease is more likely to be diagnosed during certain months-- suggesting that, in some groups, the cancer follows a seasonal pattern. Researchers found that, in Sweden during the second half of the 20th century, men under 50 were more likely to be diagnosed with the cancer in February, while women under 50 were diagnosed less often in August and December, and boys less than 15 years old were more often diagnosed in March. These findings support the theory that the cancer is caused by a virus or bacteria, or other infectious agent.

Leukemia and Lymphoma - Survival after treatment.
Hodgkin's disease survivors face a more than six-fold increased risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is highest in the 10 years after Hodgkin's diagnosis. Hodgkin's disease is a cancer of the body's lymphatic system that typically affects people between 15 and 40 years of age and those over 55 years of age. Due to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of this cancer, survival rates are high. Acute myeloid leukemia, by contrast, is a cancer of white blood cells that usually affects people in their mid-60s and carries a worse prognosis than Hodgkin's disease.

Certain radiation and chemotherapy treatments may increase survivors' risk of developing stomach cancer. U.S. National Cancer Institute, news release, Aug. 26, 2013.

Heart disease risk
Survivors of Hodgkin's disease are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. The risk is particularly high for patients treated for before the age of 40 years and with a family history of heart disease.

Psychological aspects of lymphoma treatment survival
Almost half of survivors of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma report some degree of emotional distress in the years after diagnosis. While most lymphoma survivors don't experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), many patients appear to be psychologically affected by the cancer and the treatment. Journal of Clinical Oncology, February 20, 2008.

B cell lymphoma
Ninety percent of lymphomas are B-cell. Thus, T-cell lymphoma is rare. All lymphomas arise from normal lymphocytes in the body. There are two types of lymphocytes: B-cell: derived from bone marrow cells and T-cell: derived from thymus, a special gland in the central part of the chest. B-cell lymphocytes make antibodies. T-cell lymphocytes regulate the B-cell lymphocytes.

T cell lymphoma -- Cutaneous T cell lymphoma
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a term coined in 1979 to describe a group of lymphoproliferative disorders characterized by localization of neoplastic T lymphocytes to the skin at presentation. The skin is the second most common extranodal site for lymphoma; gastrointestinal sites are first. Of all primary cutaneous lymphomas, 65% are of the T-cell type.

People who overeat or who aren't physically active face a higher risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), according to a report by Canadian researchers in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Lymphoma and Antibiotic Use
Using antibiotics more than 10 times during adulthood is associated with an increased likelihood of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that affects the body's lymphatic system. It is possible, however, that heavy antibiotic use is a marker of increased susceptibility to infection, and it is probably this rather than antibiotics themselves that gives rise to the increased lymphoma risk.

Burkitt's lymphoma
This is an example of a high-grade lymphoma, a solid tumor of B lymphocytes, the lymphocytes that the immune system uses to make antibodies.

Future Oncol. 2018. Evaluation of curcumin, a natural product in turmeric, on Burkitt lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia cancer stem cell markers. Results indicate that curcumin decreased cancer stem cells markers in lymphoma/leukemia cells, potentially through inhibiting self-renewal.

The Epstein-Barr virus is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma, lymphomas in immunosuppressed people, and Hodgkin lymphoma. The discovery of human herpes virus type 8 has led to the identification of a rare and unusual group of virus-associated lymphoproliferative diseases. Individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus are at greatly increased risk of developing lymphoma but here the mechanism of lymphoma genesis is indirect. Recent data suggest that hepatitis C virus infection is also associated with an increased incidence of lymphoma.

Quality of life after lymphoma treatment
People who survive lymphoma may continue to have both physical and practical problems for years afterward,. In a survey of Dutch adults who'd been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma 5 to 15 years earlier, researchers found that they reported poorer-than-average physical health and energy. Many also said they'd had problems returning to work or obtaining health insurance, life insurance and home mortgages.

Australian researchers found that people who were either elder siblings or only children had relatively lower risks of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A similar protective effect was seen among people with a history of hay fever or food allergies. The researchers speculate that early immune system development may be behind all of these associations. In brief, early infection -- more likely with multiple kids in a family -- may set the immune system in such a way that allergies don't develop; but on the other hand this setting may increase the chances of developing lymphoma. The study, of nearly 1,400 adults with and without non-Hodgkin lymphoma, found that those who were a first-born or only child were half as likely to develop the cancer as people who were fourth in their line of siblings. In all, the researchers report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, there was a linear increase in NHL risk, such that second-born children had a lower risk than those who were third-born, who were, in turn, less likely than later-born siblings to develop the disease. Similarly, men and women who had had hay fever at any age were one-third less likely than those without such nasal allergies to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while people with a history of food allergies were 70 percent less likely than the food-allergy-free to be diagnosed with the disease. A number of studies have found evidence that limited exposure to infection early in life may make a child more likely to develop allergies. The theory is that this lack of germ exposure delays the normal "switch" that the immune system goes through after birth to become an infection-fighting machine. If the immune system is not given an early push in an infection-fighting direction, it may tend to remain hypersensitive to substances that most people tolerate -- which is what gives rise to allergies. Being an only child, or having otherwise limited exposure to other young children, is one factor that can keep a person sheltered from germs early in life. So it's possible that elder siblings and only children, as well as people with a history of certain allergies, are partially protected from non-Hodgkin lymphoma by virtue of their immune responses. The type of immune response associated with allergies is known as a Th2-dominant response, as opposed to the Th1-dominant response that targets foreign invaders like viruses. If the Th2-dominant response is indeed what lowers non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, April 20, 2005.

Lymphoma natural treatment questions
Q. Does using hair dye increase lymphoma risk?
     A. Using hair dye may slightly increase the risk, particularly among women who started using hair coloring products before 1980.

Q. My girlfriend got lymphoma that started extranodal and which is in the bone and bone marrow, sshe had 1 chemo. treatment, but seems that regimen is not working cuz after 1 month already her cells are not moving up the level they should be. So you have any natural therapy that can be helpful in her case, which is lymphoma starting in bone?
   A. We haven't come across human research on herbs that have been tested in the treatment of lymphoma.

Q. I am trying to search the internet to find out if the malaria my husband picked up while in Japan could be related to his non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I read on the web site the paragraph titled 'Non Hodgkin's lymphoma cause' that certain viruses contribute to certain lymphoma subtypes in Africa and Japan. do you have any further info about the viruses in Japan that would cause the lymphoma and if it were possible to tell whether or not my husbands was that type, or if there was no way to tell for sure.
   A. Infection with a parasite from the genus Plasmodium causes malaria. Malaria is not caused by a virus.

Q. We recently returned from Rome where we had a consultation with a doctor for my wife who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma 12 years ago. The Italian doctor is a pathologist, oncologist and surgeon who was trained in traditional medicine in Italy. The reason for our consultation was to explore some ongoing preventions for my wife's lymphoma. She had CVP treatment (6 cycles). She has been very healthy since treatment and a very careful diet eliminating sugar, white flour, and most meats. After 12 years, her disease in showing some low level activity, although her very good health continues. The doctor has recommended that she add inositol, lactoferrin, and beta-carotene to the vitamins / suppliments that she already takes.

Q. My little Yorkie was just diagnosed with Lymphoma and I don’t want to put him through chemotherapy. My question is: I just purchased the IP6 product to give to him; I also purchased a product called K9 Immunity. The K9 Immunity contains the following…see below...I copied it from their site: they are anti cancer compounds. Do you think combining the 2 would cause a chemical or physical reaction? K-9 Immunity contains a class of immune-modulator compounds called hetero-polysaccharides, including PSK, PSP and Lentinan, which are the three most widely used anticancer compounds in the world today. This formula also contains nearly 200 other closely related polysaccharides which trigger other aspects of immune function. These compounds are sometimes referred to as glyconutrients, and are required for correct immune function in all mammals. K-9 Immunity™ is available in the USA (and many other countries) without a prescription. K-9 Immunity is an all-natural, non-toxic daily supplement made from 100% USDA Certified Organic materials.
   A. Sorry, I am not familiar with K-9 Immunity product. It is very difficult to know what the interactions would be, if any, between Immunity K9 and IP-6.

I came upon your website upon doing a search online regarding my diagnosis at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, of "Skin / Cutaneous Lymphoma" T-cell I believe, with lesions of different sizes, in patches or "crops" that are increasing. I am a 53 yr. old female, postmenapausal.I was diagnosed after seeing both my hematologist and dermatologist at Mayo in Sept. 2009.In Sept. '09 I had blood work, bone marrow collection and PET SCAN. The tests were "clean" except for the PET SCAN showed 3-4 lymph nodes lit up under my L arm. Due to this I had another PET SCAN in Dec. 2009 and the lymph nodes were much dimmer. I return to Mayo to my hematologist every 3 months for follow up blood work, and whatever tests he feels are necessary. I just returned for follow up with blood work that showed "clean". However, my hematologist stated in Dec. '09 that he had discussed my case at a convention due to the fact that my biopsies taken in Sept. '09 were all CD30 except one was a CD4. He stated that they are close relatives, yet CD4 is worse. I have Clobetasol Steroid ointment to apply as needed, which I do sparingly. It does help if I have one that is sore/itchy, yet some I never even feel at all, so do not apply it to all, with so many popping up. My hematologist does not feel it is wisest to do further extensive treatment such as chemo, etc., at this time due to the side effects. I appreciate his caution on this matter. I now have several "patches" and spots of lesions, more on my legs and arms. Recently I have 2 on my front neck, appearing as red pimples and hard to the touch. The are very stubborn to eventually flatten out and leave gray color scars. It may take weeks to months for them to flatten then scar. I've noticed that where there has been a larger lesion, (lima bean size), then other smaller ones pop up around the same area, which I've been told can happen anywhere on my body. My skin is extremely dry, even prior to this diagnosis. I am now very cautious about the type of cream of body lotion, etc., I use. No scent, etc. It was suggested that I use Vanicream. I read on your site about: Indole-3-Carbinol via the lymphoma page, and am wondering about it. My questions for you are: Can you suggest a couple of products for me to try that may help? Can you suggest a body and/or face cream/lotion that may help? I state "a couple" due to the fact that I want to start slowly and simply so that I may tell what may or may not help my problem. The medications & supplements I presently take are: Atenelol Paxil Omega-3 Vitamin B Complex Citrical Vit D 2000 IU per day (as suggested via my hematologist last visit March 2010). I will greatly appreciate and look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to read my message.
    I am not able to make specific treatment suggestions but perhaps you can discuss the information on this page with your doctor.

I had a biopsy which concluded that I have Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma Large B Cell. It was recommended that I start a very aggressive chemo treatment. I believe one of the chemo was Rituxan 100 mg 10 mg/ml 10 ml SDV 800 mg Dose: 800 mg. I had four rounds of treatment. With each passing week my side effects were becoming more and more unbearable even though I was told that my worst side would be only fatigue. I will never take any more chemo, even if it shortens my life expectancy. I turned 66 this year. I had an MRI and it showed no cancer. This was the day before my forth round of chemo. While this is great news, the price I paid for the side effects, feeling like I was poisoned for five days straight, was just not worth it. I am looking for alternatives.

I have just being diagnosed by Hodgkin's lymphoma and do not want to go for chemo, so I read about reishi mushrooms. Can I take this product to boost my immune system?
   I have not seen enough research with reishi mushroom as a treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma to know whether it would help.