Lymphoma is a cancer of the Lymphatic System, and it can occur when an error occurs in the way a lymphocyte is produced, resulting in an abnormal cell. These abnormal Lymphocytes can accumulate by two mechanisms: they can duplicate faster than normal cells, or, they can live longer than normal Lymphocytes.
Like normal Lymphocytes, the cancerous Lymphocytes can grow in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood, or other organs.
Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer and the third most common childhood cancer.
Lymphoma is a disease that starts in and affects the Immune System. In order to understand Lymphoma and its treatment, it is important to know how the Immune System functions.
Lymphoma are forms of cancer that originate in Lymphocytes or, on rare occasions, the histiocytes. Lymphomas are part of the broad group of diseases called Hematological Neoplasms.
Just as there are many types of Lymphocytes in our bodies, so are there many types of Lymphoma. However, cancers of the Lymphatic System are categorized into one of the following main types:
- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL), also known as Hodgkin’s Disease (originally discovered by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832)
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)
There are, in fact, more than 30 subtypes of Lymphoma, consisting of 5 types of Hodgkins Lymphoma and over 25 types of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. In addition, there are more modern classifications of Lymphoma, which are more sophisticated than the simple scheme above.