Thursday, 19 January 2017

Lymphoma

Lymphoma
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It consists of a network of vessels that carry a fluid called lymph, similar to the way that the network of blood vessels carry blood throughout the body. Lymph contains white blood cells called lymphocytes that are also present in blood and tissues. Lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the immune system - specifically, it is a cancer of immune cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. These lymph nodes filter the lymph, which may carry bacteria, viruses, or other microbes. At infection sites, large numbers of these microbial organisms collect in the regional lymph nodes and produce the local swelling and tenderness typical of a localized infection. Lymphocytes recognize infectious organisms and abnormal cells and destroy them. There are two major subtypes of lymphocytes: B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes, also referred to as B cells and T cells. There are two broad types of lymphoma and many subtypes:
  • Non-Hodgkin: Most people with lymphoma have this type.
  • Hodgkin
These two types occur in the same places, may be associated with the same symptoms, and often have similar appearance on physical examination. However, they are readily distinguishable via microscopic examination of a tissue biopsy sample because of their distinct appearance under the microscope and their cell surface markers. Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma each affect a different kind of lymphocyte. Every type of lymphoma grows at a different rate and responds differently to treatment. Even though lymphoma is cancer, it is very treatable. Many cases can even be cured. Classification is a complicated process, but it helps surgeons and physicians to determine the best course of action for treating the cancer.
A number of different classification systems have been proposed over recent years, with the most commonly used system devised by the World Health Organization (WHO). This lymphoma classification system helps physicians to standardize how they discuss lymphoma.
Lymphoma is different from leukemia. Each of these cancers starts in a different type of cell.
  • Lymphoma starts in infection-fighting lymphocytes.
  • Leukemia starts in blood-forming cells inside bone marrow.
The symptoms and signs of lymphoma are very similar to those of simple illnesses such as viral illnesses and the common cold, and this can cause problems with delayed diagnosis. The difference is that the symptoms of lymphoma persist long after the usual run of a viral infection.


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