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WebMagic's Lymphoma.com™ is a comprehensive guide to online resources about Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Is there a connection between HIV and lymphoma?

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks and weakens the body's immune system, causing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). When this happens, other infections and diseases can invade the body (with now has little to no defense) and AIDS patients may develop either Hodgkin's disease or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America (LRFA), approximately 30% of all AIDS patients contract lymphoma.

As with non AIDS-related lymphoma, the treatment depends on the grade (how fast it is growing) and stage (how far it has spread in the body) of the disease as well as other personal factors such as health status and personal preference. The doctor also must consider AIDS-related complications such as low white-blood cell counts and other diseases the patient may have developed.

Because the body's immune system is already compromised by disease, AIDS-related lymphoma tends to behave differently than non AIDS-related lymphoma. With little to stop it, the cancer can reproduce quickly and spread unchecked beyond the lymph nodes at an accelerated rate.

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can damage a healthy immune system while killing the cancerous cells. An AIDS patient already has a damaged immune system, therefore lower doses of radiation and drugs must be used to treat the cancer to protect the weakened, healthy cells that remain.

Clinical trials currently are testing the treatment effectiveness of certain drug therapies on AIDS and its related lymphomas.

For detailed information on AIDS-related cancer and available clinical trials, please visit the National Cancer Institute at cancernet.nci.nih.gov/Cancer_Types/AIDS-Related_Malignancies.shtml.

For general information on HIV and available support and treatment options, please visit HIV.com.




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