Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and tissues that helps the body fight infections and diseases. Lymphoma is characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system.
There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of lymphoma that is characterized by the presence of a type of abnormal cell known as the Reed-Sternberg cell. It is more common in young adults and those over the age of 55.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of lymphoma that does not contain Reed-Sternberg cells. It is a more diverse group of diseases and is more common in older adults. There are many different subtypes of NHL, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma.
The exact cause of lymphoma is not known, but there are several risk factors that have been identified, including a weakened immune system, exposure to certain chemicals and radiation, and a family history of the disease.
Treatment for lymphoma depends on the type and stage of the disease, as well as the individual patient, but may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, and targeted therapy.
If you experience symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue, it is important to seek medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome.