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Castleman’s disease is a lymphoproliferative disorder affecting the lymph nodes and related tissues. While the cause of Castleman's disease is unknown, many doctors suspect a virus is involved. Problems with the way an individual's immune system functions may also contribute to the development of the condition. There are 2 main forms of Castleman's disease: localized (discussed here) and multicentric. They affect people very differently. Localized or unicentric Castleman's disease only affects a single set of lymph nodes and is not widespread. The lymph nodes that are more commonly affected are in the chest and abdomen. Castleman’s disease causes the lymph nodes to get larger. The enlarged lymph nodes press on other organs and tissues inside the chest or abdomen, causing discomfort or difficulty breathing. Sometimes the enlarged lymph nodes are in places such as the neck, groin, or armpit and can be easily felt. People with localized Castleman's disease are often cured when the lymph node is removed with surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation may also be used.
- Detailed Guide: Castleman Disease. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CastlemanDisease/DetailedGuide/. Accessed August 18, 2011.
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- The American Cancer Society provides detailed information about Castleman's disease. Click on the link to access this information.
- MayoClinic.com provides an information page for this topic. Click on the link to view this information.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge. Click on the link to read information on this topic.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Castleman's disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.