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Lymphoma


Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system. Typically, lymphoma is present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. Lymphoma occurs when lymphocyte B or T cells transform and begin growing and multiplying uncontrollably. Abnormal lymphocytes collect in one or more lymph nodes or in lymph tissues such as the spleen or tonsils, and eventually they form a mass of cells called a tumor. Tumors grow and invade the space of surrounding tissues and organs, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients. There are two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL, also called Hodgkin's disease) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Both HL and NHL can occur in the same places and have similar symptoms. 

 

Causes

  • Genetics: Lymphoma can be the result of a genetic predisposition that is inherited from family members.
  • Carcinogens: Carcinogens are a class of substances that are directly responsible for damaging DNA, promoting or aiding cancer.
  • Other medical conditions like HIV, hepatitis B, auto immune diseases and immunodeficiency diseases.

Symptoms

  • Lymphoma usually first presents with swelling in the neck, underarm, or groin.
  • Anorexia
  • Dyspnea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Night sweats
  • Itching
  • Weight loss

Treatment

Cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer (how much it has spread), age, health status, whether or not one has received previous cancer treatment, and additional personal characteristics. Lymphoma treatment is usually designed to result in complete remission of the disease. Common lymphoma treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biological therapy. In some cases, a stem cell transplant is required if the lymphoma has recurred or where there is a high likelihood of recurrence in the future.

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