Questions for you...

Hi there.

I'm from the Breast Cancer forum. My husband's 70 year old uncle was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer of Unknown Primary. After a CT, MRI, and PET Scan, what his oncologists have found out is that there is no cancer visible in any of his organs or bones, but his entire lymphatic system is full of cancer cells. It appears the lymph nodes are collecting cancer cells but it is unknown from where in his body the cells are coming from.

So, far, we're all (the family) waiting to hear whether or not this is Hodgkin's or Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma? It is my understanding that there are several sub-types of lymphomas under these two umbrellas.

Is there any other types of lymphatic cancers known outside of the two mentioned above?

Any information you can offer would be appreciated. My husband's uncle was told he may have anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to live.

Comments

  • cookingirl
    cookingirl Member Posts: 183
    Questions for you...
    HI Emamei,
    I'm guessing from your husband's uncle's age of 70, he probably has NHL. Hodgkin's is normally for the late teens - 20's age group. Unusual for anyone 70 to have that.

    Heard an hour long discussion recently among two Oncologists on www.lymphoma.org about Lymphoma. One said there were 5 sub-types of Hodgkin's and 61 of NHL. Had heard before there were 67 types of NHL so not sure which is correct, but gives you an idea of how many there are.

    Very surprised a Dr. would give the time frame of 6 months to 2 years to live. Have a friend with NHL (of the same type I have - Follicular, Indolent, B cell, stage 4) who's had this cancer for 15 years. We have several on this support site who have passed the 20 year mark. New treatments coming out each month and much research being done on Lymphomas. I wouldn't take that time frame as a given - each person is different. Good luck and let us know what you find out - Fran
  • bluerose
    bluerose Member Posts: 1,104

    Questions for you...
    HI Emamei,
    I'm guessing from your husband's uncle's age of 70, he probably has NHL. Hodgkin's is normally for the late teens - 20's age group. Unusual for anyone 70 to have that.

    Heard an hour long discussion recently among two Oncologists on www.lymphoma.org about Lymphoma. One said there were 5 sub-types of Hodgkin's and 61 of NHL. Had heard before there were 67 types of NHL so not sure which is correct, but gives you an idea of how many there are.

    Very surprised a Dr. would give the time frame of 6 months to 2 years to live. Have a friend with NHL (of the same type I have - Follicular, Indolent, B cell, stage 4) who's had this cancer for 15 years. We have several on this support site who have passed the 20 year mark. New treatments coming out each month and much research being done on Lymphomas. I wouldn't take that time frame as a given - each person is different. Good luck and let us know what you find out - Fran

    25 year NHL survivor here
    Like Fran said there are several long term NHL survivors on this site so take heart. Lots of new treatments out there and who knows what the next one will be - just around the corner.

    Don't pin yourselves down by 'time frames', make fighting and reaching a set goal a priority and try to forget about time restrictions - it will help him if he doesn't think of a time and keep him more positive. I know it's hard but he needs to set himself a goal off in the future instead of just settling for one doc's opinion that he has a limited future. Know what I mean?

    I defied the odds and he can too, lots of us have.

    All the best.

    Blessings,

    Bluerose
  • merrywinner
    merrywinner Member Posts: 626
    Hmmmm??
    So sorry to hear of your troubles. It is always so hard. My thoughts would be...are they saying it is Lymphoma? They should readily be able to identify those cells as one of the Lymphomas if it is. Many cancers spread into the Lymph Nodes as you probably already know. Breast cancer and esophageal cancer plus leukemia come to mind off the top of my head. The key will be in identifying those cells if they can. All the best to you. Mary
  • COBRA666
    COBRA666 Member Posts: 2,401 Member

    Hmmmm??
    So sorry to hear of your troubles. It is always so hard. My thoughts would be...are they saying it is Lymphoma? They should readily be able to identify those cells as one of the Lymphomas if it is. Many cancers spread into the Lymph Nodes as you probably already know. Breast cancer and esophageal cancer plus leukemia come to mind off the top of my head. The key will be in identifying those cells if they can. All the best to you. Mary

    HMMMMM!!!!!
    Mary,
    The same thoughts went thru my mind when I read this thread. Just like the Drs. to keep everyone guessing.
    Emamei,So sorry you have to be in suspence like this.I sure hope something is found out soon. John
  • TJ74
    TJ74 Member Posts: 18
    Doctors need to learn what not to say sometimes
    When I was finally diagnosed with Hodkgin's stage 4a, the doctors gave me 3 months to live. That was 21 years ago! In my opinion, doctors shouldn't be saying negative things like your dying. They didn't know where mine came from either, other that I was full of it too. I wish you all the best.
  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    Consider a different oncologist?
    I don't know all the facts, but he may want to consider a different oncologist.
    Saying someone has x period to live seems so old school and "TV Show Dramatic" to me.

    From my limited research (diagnosed April 2011 with diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma)
    and what I was told by the team of doctors from my initial hospitalization for internal bleeding, "Lymphoma is very treatable".

    I have a good relationship with my oncologist though we usually only see
    each other now at the beginning of a treatment cycle. I talk with her like
    she's a human being because she is. I consider her a partner (one of many) in this challenge.

    I can say to everyone on this site, "You have 1 nanosecond to 200 years to live" and
    probably be 100% accurate. As you can see from this site, there are many
    here who have exceeded their own expectations much less what a doctor told them :).
    Maybe if you share this with your uncle, it might ease some of the anxiety.
    Certainly not knowing the type or origin of the cancer is unsettling.

    I just realized your post was from nearly 12 days ago. Hopefully you have more
    information now and and it's optimistic news.

    Hang in there.

    Hugs

    Jim