Lymphoma is cancer that begins in cells of the lymph system. The lymph
system is part of the immune system, which helps the body fight infection
and disease. Because lymph tissue is found all through the body, lymphoma
can begin almost anywhere.
The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
(NHL). These can occur in both children and adults.
Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma have the classic type. With this type,
there are large, abnormal lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) in
the lymph nodes called Reed-Sternberg cells. Hodgkin lymphoma can usually be cured.
There are many different types of NHL that form from different types of
white blood cells (B-cells, T-cells, NK cells). Most types of NHL form
from B-cells. NHL may be indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing).
The most common types of NHL in adults are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma,
which is usually aggressive, and follicular lymphoma, which is usually indolent.
Mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome are types of NHL that
start in white blood cells in the skin. Primary central nervous system
lymphoma is a rare type of NHL that starts in white blood cells in the
brain, spinal cord, or eye.
The treatment and the chance of a cure depend on the stage and the type
Key points to consider
- Adult Hodgkin lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form
in the lymph system.
- There are two main types of Hodgkin lymphoma: classical and nodular lymphocyte-predominant.
- Age, gender, and Epstein-Barr infection can affect the risk of adult Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Signs of adult Hodgkin lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night
sweats, and weight loss.
- Tests that examine the lymph nodes are used to detect (find) and diagnose
adult Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
Adult Hodgkin lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form
in the lymph system.
Adult Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymph system,
part of the body's immune system. The immune system protects the body
from foreign substances, infection, and diseases.
The lymph system is made up of the following:
- Lymph: Colorless, watery fluid that carries white blood cells called lymphocytes
through the lymph system. Lymphocytes protect the body against infections
and the growth of tumors.
- Lymph vessels: A network of thin tubes that collect lymph from different
parts of the body and return it to the bloodstream.
- Lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store
white blood cells that help fight infection and disease. Lymph nodes are
located along the network of lymph vessels found throughout the body.
Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the neck, underarm, abdomen, pelvis,
- Spleen: An organ that makes lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood
cells, and destroys old blood cells. It is located on the left side of
the abdomen near the stomach.
- Thymus: An organ in which lymphocytes grow and multiply. The thymus is
in the chest behind the breastbone.
- Tonsils: Two small masses of lymph tissue at the back of the throat. The
tonsils make lymphocytes.
- Bone marrow: The soft, spongy tissue in the center of large bones. Bone
marrow makes white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Lymph tissue is also found in other parts of the body such as the stomach,
thyroid gland, brain, and skin. Cancer can spread to the liver and lungs.
Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in both adults and children. Treatment for adults
is different than treatment for children. (links?)
- Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma.
- AIDS-Related Lymphoma.
Hodgkin lymphoma in pregnant women is the same as the disease in non-pregnant
women of childbearing age. However, treatment is different for pregnant women.
There are two main types of Hodgkin lymphoma: classical and nodular lymphocyte-predominant.
Most Hodgkin lymphomas are the classical type. The classical type is broken
down into the following four subtypes:
- Nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Mixed cellularity Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Lymphocyte depletion Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Age, gender, and Epstein-Barr infection can affect the risk of adult Hodgkin lymphoma.
Risk factors for adult Hodgkin lymphoma include the following:
- Being in young or late adulthood.
- Being male.
- Being infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.
- Having a first-degree relative (parent, brother, or sister) with Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Pregnancy is not a risk factor for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Signs of adult Hodgkin lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night
sweats, and weight loss.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by adult Hodgkin lymphoma
or by other conditions:
- Painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin.
- Fever for no known reason.
- Drenching night sweats.
- Weight loss for no known reason.
- Itchy skin.
- Feeling very tired.
Lymphomas are divided into two general types: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin
lymphoma. This summary is about the treatment of adult Hodgkin lymphoma.
Source: National Cancer Institute
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