The lymphatic system is comprised of the lymph, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, and liver. The lymph is the fluid that circulates in the lymphatic system and travels through the body via lymph vessels. The fluid contains lymphocytes – produced by the bone marrow and spleen -that fight pathogens. These cells filter the blood and collect the microorganisms inside lymph nodes. You’ll notice that during infections, you will have a palpable node in your neck, under your arms, breasts, and groin. When the pathogens are overwhelmed, toxins and byproducts produced by these cells are then filtered in the liver to be eliminated.
In lymphoma cancer, the problem lies in the lymphocytes, specifically the B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of lymphoma cancer where the B-lymphocytes have the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells under morphological studies. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, on the other hand, is a type of lymphoma that occurs without the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. The malignant cells increase in number and size, resulting to a pooling of cells inside a lymph node. The lymph node formed will be rubbery, painless, and does not show any signs of disappearing. Lymphoma cancer is also noted with night sweats, unexplained weight loss, and unexplained fever. There are patients diagnosed with lymphoma but still live for more than 5 to 10 years, making this one of the most curable forms of cancer known to man. Biopsy of the tumor is the definitive way in diagnosing lymphoma. Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT-Scan, and MRI along with blood tests are done in order to stage the severity of lymphoma cancer.
Treatment of lymphoma cancer can be a form or mix of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is done during the early stage, and applied only on a local area where the malignancy is noted. When the malignancy has spread in adjacent and distal parts of the body, chemotherapy is used along with immune-stimulants and corticosteroids such as prednisone. Surviving lymphoma is highly dependent on the stage when the lymphoma was diagnosed and the application of appropriate treatment. Always maintain your regular check up to see if your treatment is appropriate for you, and to monitor how the lymphoma cancer is progressing.
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