Cancer is one of the major causes of death and one in ten people die of cancer. Cancer is not a single disease but a multitude of conditions that occur when cells start to divide uncontrollably. The most common cancers are those of the colon, breast, lung, and prostate. Cancer can arise from virtually all tissues of the body, and one of the most well-known is lymphoma, which we will discuss in this article.
What is lymphoma and what are its types?
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic tissue, which is a system found all over the body that drains a certain fluid called “lymph”, and which is responsible for draining fluids and filtering body tissues from toxins, bacteria, and different foreign entities. Such a system also includes white blood cells, which are responsible for maintaining the body’s immunity. One of the main components of lymph tissues is the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are aggregations of cells called lymphocytes which are responsible for immunity and the production of antibodies. Lymph nodes or glands are found all over the body in our neck, armpit, abdomen, and groin. Lymphoid tissue is also found in the spleen, liver, and other sites. There are two main types of lymphomas called:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
There are many differences between the two types including the way they look under the microscope and how they spread. Generally speaking, Hodgkin’s lymphoma spreads in a slower, more organized manner across lymph nodes of the center of the body including the neck and abdomen. On the other hand, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma spreads aggressively and can spread in other tissue other than lymph nodes including the gastrointestinal system.