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Can non-hodgkin's lymphoma destroy the spinal column?
Oct 14, 2001

Nine years ago I was diagnosed with stage 3B non-hodgkin's lymphoma. I was tested for HIV and was negative.

My cancer hadn't spread, but had destroyed my L5 vertabrae completely. My doctors told me that this was a case they had never seen before. How can a blood disease destroy bone, yet not affect soft tissue or my spinal cord?

I've been in remission ever since that time and have had a spinal fusion along with chemo and radiation. Have you heard of such a case?

Response from Dr. Dezube

Congratulations on being in remission for nine years. At this point it would be most unusual for your tumor to recur. I have basically seen lyphoma arise or spread from virtually every part of the body, and yes, I've seen it in the L5 vertebrae. Lymphoma can go anywhere there are vessels to carry it and that includes the spinal column. The good news is that it is a very treatable cancer as was your case.


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