What is Lymphoma Cancer
Affecting people of all ages, lymphoma cancer is actually one of the most popular types of cancer. Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood and this is mainly due to the different types of cancer that can be caused through the lymphoma.
IAs the name suggests, the cancer affects the lymphoma which in simple terms, means cells of the immune system. In a healthy human being, the white blood cells which are part of the lymphoma look to filter any disease-carrying cells and then destroy them. The sophistication of the human body means that once these infectious cells have been destroyed before, they will always be recognized and the threat of them will be minimized in the future.
Cancer of the lymphoma occurs when the cells in the area are changed so they suddenly start to multiply. This results in abnormal, or harmful, cells also multiplying and in time the consequence is a mass of cells forming together. This mass is more commonly known as a tumour and as time progresses, the affected area will weaken significantly and there is a large risk that the tumour can spread to other areas of the body. If spreading does occur, doctors name the condition extranodal lymphoma.
The complexity of lymphoma cancer arrives due to the two different types that can be diagnosed; Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and then the subtypes that fall under these two categories.
B Lymphocytes and T Cells
Before either can be understood, the two different types of white blood cells need to be understood. The first type is B lymphocytes, which has the primary role of producing antibodies which will then start the process of identifying abnormal cells before recruiting other cells to destroy them. The second type is T cells and the main difference with these is that they do not require the assistance of other cells and destroy intruders directly.
What is Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer?
Now that the white blood cells have been identified, it is very easy to describe what Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer is. This type of the cancer only affects abnormal B lymphocytes and in all, there have been five different subtypes of Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer discovered so far. The name of this type of cancer derives from Thomas Hodgkin, who first published findings on lymphoma in 1832.
What is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer?
Following on from the previous definition, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer is now very easy to describe. This is simply all other types of cancer that affect the lymphoma area, with both abnormal B lymphocytes and T cells being affected. Compared to Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer there are many more types, with thirty being discovered so far.
As both types of the cancer can affect B lymphocytes, it can sometimes be difficult to see which type of cancer is prevalent. It is absolutely crucial to perfect identification as both types of cancer react differently to the different types of treatment. For this reason, the cells have to be microscopically analysed before the diagnosis can be officially confirmed.