castleman-disease

Castleman disease is another rare disease that belongs to categories of rare cancers/viral infections/blood diseases. The other term for this condition is called multicentric Castleman disease. It affects the lymph nodes and other related tissues. It is a systemic condition that can affect lymph nodes and other tissues of multiple sets throughout the body. The other type is called unicentric Castleman disease that only has localized effects on the body. Oftentimes, MCD’s signs and symptoms are nonspecific and can only be due to the other more common conditions seen on the body of the patient. Symptoms do vary but usually, it includes weight loss, fever fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, night sweats, enlarged spleen or liver and nausea & vomiting. Its exact underlying cause remains to be unknown. Its treatment may include the use of corticosteroid, undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy and or the use of anti-viral drugs.

 

Diagnosis

 

Usually, the signs and symptoms of this disease are nonspecific. Once suspected, some tests need to be conducted in order to help in establishing its diagnosis and to known the other conditions that cause similar symptoms. Some of the tests are:

 

– Imaging studies (PET Scan, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound) can help in enlarged lymph nodes and other health problems identification.

 

– Blood testings for evaluation of Interleukin level and other body substance.

 

– Biopsy of the lymph nodes (often affected tissue) to confirm the diagnosis.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment for this condition may vary depending on its severity and if the patient has or not have an autoimmune disease like HIV and/or type 8 of herpes virus. Some of the treatment options are:

 

– Chemotherapy. This can be recommended for those with slow-growing lymphatic cells.

 

– Immunotherapy. This can be used for blocking the interleukin action. This protein is excessively produced by those with MCD.

 

– Corticosteroid treatments for inflammation reduction.

 

– Anti-viral medicines which can help in blocking HHV-8 or HIV activities for those infected with such viruses.

 

Other details can be found here.

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