Advanced Health Conditions

Lymphoma

Lymphoma Overview:

Lymphoma is also known as hematological neoplasm.  Lymphoma represents a wide range of cancers of the lymphatic system.  When someone is sick with an infection, the lymph nodes, which make up the lymphatic system, swell in order to contain and fight the infection.  Lymphoma is when the lymph node cells irregularly swell or aggressively multiply.  There are two predominate types of lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).  Hodgkin’s disease is named after the English doctor Thomas Hodgkin’s (1832).  Hodgkin’s disease is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, large derivative B lymphocyte cells, which are not present in people with NHL.  People with Hodgkin’s disease have shown to produce high levels of Interleukin-13, a cytokine that the body biologically produces.  Cytokines help cells communicate with each other.

 

Lymphoma Causes:

People can contract lymphoma by coming into contact with certain chemicals, autoimmune diseases, certain types of bacteria including those that cause ulcers, having a weakened immune system caused by infections like HIV and AIDS, and by genetic disposition. It is not well known what exactly causes Hodgkin’s disease, but research has shown that people that have had or have the Epstein-Barr virus have about a 50 percent chance of getting Hodgkin’s disease.  Also people who have had infectious mononucleosis or the measles virus have a high risk of getting Hodgkin’s disease.

 

Lymphoma Symptoms:

Symptoms are not necessarily indicative of Hodgkin’s disease in fact many of the symptoms are painless and mimic the flu.  Some symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes especially in the underarm area, groin, and neck, lack of energy, rapid weight loss, varying body temperature (fever and chills), night sweats, enlargement of the spleen, itching of the skin without a rash, and prevalent fever of 100 degrees. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma displays similar symptoms to Hodgkin’s disease.  NHL can rapidly spread to the liver, spleen, and bone marrow.  NHL can be either suppressed or aggressive.

 

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