Lymphoma is a dangerous form of cancer that affects a small fraction of the population. However, its an important disease to know about in order to properly understand how your body works and when a problem might arise.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, so in this article, well attempt to explain the lymphatic system in detail so that you can better understand how your body works.
The lymphatic system of the human body is truly amazing. Its basically our bodys main method of protecting itself against foreign invasions, and it is found throughout the body.
The lymphatic system consists of many different entities, including the marrow that is found in our bones, the tonsils, the spleen, an organ known as the thymus, and many lymph nodes that can be found throughout the body.
Lymph nodes are found most often in the areas around the neck, the armpits, and the groin area. Lymph nodes contain a substance that is known simply as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœlymph.
Lymph is a fluid that is milky in appearance, and it is rich with cells known as lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are basically white blood cells, which help to fight off invaders of the body.
There are two major types of lymphocytes, and they are known as B cells and T cells. B cells are the lymphocytes that grow mainly inside bone marrow, but sometimes are found in other parts of the lymph system.
The “B” in B cell refers to the fact that they are found in the bone marrow. T cells also follow the same naming convention, with these types of white blood cells occurring within the thymus. The thymus is located behind the breast bone.
Abnormal Lymph Growth
When it comes to lymphoma, the problem begins when there is an abnormal growth of cells in the lymph nodes. In Hodgkins lymphoma, the cancerous cells tend to grow in one specific area of lymph nodes. For that reason, early detection of Hodgkins lymphoma is usually relatively easy to treat.
One major problem that occurs with the disease, however, is the fact that the cancerous cells can spread throughout the entire lymphatic system, which spans basically the entire length of the body. Once the cells begin to spread to other parts of the body, the risks associated with having lymphoma increase tenfold, since the problem is no longer easily contained. Hodgkins lymphoma most often occurs in the neck, but it can be present anywhere throughout the body.
Now that you know more about how the lymphatic system protects the body against the different attackers that it faces, you can more easily understand how much of a problem lymphoma can be if it spreads throughout the lymphatic system. If your lymph nodes appear to be swollen for an extended period of time, it is important to speak to a doctor about the problem.
There aren’t many warning signs when it comes to lymphoma so its important to get a proper diagnosis if you think that you are at risk.