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Wednesday 6 August 2014


Lymphoma – Type of Cancer Affecting the Immune System

Lymphoma is a type of cancer which affects the immune system and it is cancer of immune cells known as lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell. Lymphoma is a group of blood cell tumours which develop from lymphocytes and is sometimes referred to cancerous ones rather than tumours.

The symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes which do not seem to be painful, fever, itchiness,weight loss, a feeling of tiredness and sweats which are very common at night. There are two main types of lymphoma namely Hodgkin Lymphoma – HL and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma –NHL along with two others, multiple myeloma and immunoproliferative diseases which have been included by the World Health Organization in its category.

While Non Hodgkin lymphoma is around 90% of cases which includes a large number of sub-types, lymphomas belong to a wider group of neoplasm known as tumours of the hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues. Lymphoma just like cancer represents various diseases, have different cancers of lymphocytes which are around of thirty five different subtypes. It is a kind of cancerous group which affects the cell that play an important role in the immune system especially representing cells which involve in the lymphatic system of our body.

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system which comprises of a network of vessels carrying fluid known as lymph like the way that network of blood vessel supply blood throughout the body. Lymph also contains white blood cells known as lymphocytes which attack a variety of infectious properties together with other cells in the precancerous stage of development.

The lymph nodes are a collection of small lymph tissue which appears in the body and the lymphatic system functions through the lymphatic channels which connect thousands of lymph nodes that may be present in the body.

The lymph flows through the lymph nodes together with other lymphatic tissues which include the tonsils, spleen, the bone marrow and the thymus glands wherein these lymph nodes filter the lymph that carry bacteria, viruses or any other microbes. Huge numbers of microbial organisms tend to collect in the regional lymph nodes at the affected areas causing swelling and tenderness, typical of a localized infection.

These may also get enlarged and at times confluent collection of lymph nodes also called lymphadenopathy which is often referred to swollen glands. In certain areas of the body like the anterior part of the neck they tend to be visible when they are swollen.

Lymphocytes Identifies Infectious Organism/Abnormal Cells

The lymphocytes identify the infectious organism and abnormal cells and eliminate them. Cancer occurs when normal cellsgo through a transformation when they tend to grow and increase uncontrollably andlymphoma is a malignant transformation of cells.

As the abnormal cells tend to multiply, they get collected in one or more lymph nodes in other lymph tissues like the spleen. The cells continue to increase forminga mass which is often referred to a tumour. These tumours affect the surrounding tissues by invading their space resulting in depriving them of the necessary nutrients and oxygen that is needed for the function and survival of the body.

Lymphomas that are formed outside the lymphatic tissue are called extra nodal disease. The treatment for lymphoma depends on the kind and stage of the condition. Certain factors like the age, overall health of the individual and if the person has already been treated for lymphoma earlier are taken in consideration at the onset of the treatment process.

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