Many professions that expose their workers to radiation and other heavy metal toxicities put them at risk for different types of cancers which can destroy the immune system and allow infection to run rampant through a person’s body. Many times, when cancer develops that affects the immune system as a whole, it isn’t the cancer itself that does the most damage. The most destructive part of immuno-cancers are the common bacterial or viral infections which the body is no longer able to fight off. United Energy Workers Health and Four Corners Health Care is dedicated to helping individuals who develop immune system cancers due to radiation exposure, such as the cancer lymphoma, and provide these services for free under the congressional acts of EEOICPA and RECA. If you or a loved one is struggling with lymphoma due to a United States profession, you are entitled to free health care.
In order to understand what lymphoma is, we must understand how the body works to fight off infection. Our bones’ marrow is responsible for the creation of white blood cells, the types of cells which are responsible for attacking infections and preventing them from happening in the first place. Lymphoma is a cancer that attacks a certain type of these white blood cells, called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are found throughout through the body’s lymphatic system, a series of tubes that run throughout the body which drain waste from different organ systems. Lymphocytes are primarily found in lymph nodes. When the body drains waste, lymph nodes serve as checkpoints where lymphocytes battle infection or kill off invading bacteria/viruses before returning waste to the blood stream where it is then filtered out of the body.
If a person develops lymphoma, the lymphocytes / white blood cells, begin to divide rapidly and lose their primary function. This is because the rapid division of cells doesn’t give the lymphocytes enough time to properly encode DNA strands, leaving the body with an overabundance of useless white blood cells that don’t fight infection. There are different types of lymphoma because there are different types of lymphocytes that may be affected by cancer, so the treatment for different lymphocytes vary depending on the type of lymphoma and how progressively it has attacked the body.
There are two common treatments that are by and large effective for fighting off lymphoma: radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Both types of treatment are 85% effective, providing a complete cure for people who have contracted lymphoma, though for some these procedures may only buy time or improve the quality of life without fully ridding the body of lymphoma. Radiation therapy consists of shooting high-frequency waves at the cancerous cells to completely kill them off. Chemotherapy is a pharmaceutical treatment which stops cell growth altogether. Those who have been diagnosed with lymphoma generally receive both treatments, as they provide a higher success rate when they are used in tandem.
Though these are effective methods for cancer going into remission, there are some drawbacks. When trying to kill off unhealthy lymphocytes, there is always a chance of healthy lymphocytes getting stuck in the crossfire. Radiation may cause more cancer later in life, and chemotherapy stops all cell division, which can kill healthy cells as well as unhealthy ones. This is why chemotherapy is given in doses with some days on and some days off, as to not kill healthy tissues. The process can be painful and grueling, but medical advances for lymphoma have come a long way in helping curb lymphatic cancer fatality rates.
There are several unknown factors that are known to cause lymphoma. However, scientists and medical experts have identified that radiation or chronic illness can result in lymphomas, both of which can be contracted from occupational conditions. Those exposed to a high level of radiation in their jobs as energy workers or miners, for example, run the risk of DNA mutations that lead to lymphoma. Chronic illnesses caused from worker conditions may also result in lymphoma as white blood cells are constantly dividing, creating a high potential for DNA mutations that lead to lymphoma.
Lymphoma is a scary diagnosis, as is most cancer, but it is definitely treatable. If you or a loved one has lymphoma due to a US Department of Energy job or subcontract, your medical benefits may be covered under EEOICPA or RECA. We provide free home healthcare services for these beneficiaries and will get you the help you deserve. Call us today at (800) 314-2383 to inquire about your lymphoma benefits.