Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes)
Chest | Oncology | Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) (Disease)
Lymphoma is a type of cancer involving cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. Just as cancer represents many different diseases, lymphoma represents many different cancers of lymphocytes -- about 35 different subtypes, in fact.
Lymphoma is a group of cancers that affect the cells that play a role in the immune system and primarily represents cells involved in the lymphatic system of the body. 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. Lymphocytes attack a variety of infectious agents as well as many cells in the precancerous stages of development. Lymph nodes are small collections of lymph tissue that occur throughout the body. The lymphatic system involves lymphatic channels that connect thousands of lymph nodes scattered throughout the body. Lymph flows through the lymph nodes, as well as through other lymphatic tissues including the spleen, the tonsils, the bone marrow, and the thymus gland.
Causes and Risk factors
What causes lymphoma is not well known. DNA mutations may be what causes lymphoma to develop but what triggers these mutations is largely unknown. Family history does not provide much of a clue; except in the case of some rare forms, lymphoma does not appear to be linked to genetic inheritance.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Lymphoma treatment may involve chemotherapy, medications, radiation therapy or a stem cell transplant. ...