Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, part of the body responsible for fighting germs. The lymphatic system comprises the thymus glands, lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen. Major symptoms for lymphoma include fever, persistent fatigue, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, itchy skin, and painless swelling on lymph nodes among others.
The risk factors for this condition include age, male gender, and an impaired immune system.
The most common types of lymphoma include:
1. B-cell lymphoma
It is estimated that approximately 85 percent of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed in the United States are B-cell lymphomas. This implies that they emanated from this particular cell. The most common one is referred to as diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) closely followed by mediastinal B-cell. This type of lymphoma has a higher growth rate compared to other types although it is easier to treat.
2. T-cell lymphoma
Less than fifteen percent of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are categorized as T-Cell lymphomas and most of them rarely affect human beings. Leukemia is among the largest sub-groups of T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Depending on the extent of damage in the bone marrow, the condition can be considered leukemia. Patients suffering from this condition often experience constant fatigue, unexplained weight loss, night sweats among other symptoms.
3. Burkitt’s lymphoma
This is another type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma where cancer begins in immune cells known as B-cells. It is identified as a rapidly growing tumor related to impaired immunity. But with intensive chemotherapy, long-term survival can be achieved. The condition is named after a British surgeon called Denis Burkitt who discovered the disease back in 1956. The disease commonly affects children suffering from malaria. The virus normally causes infectious mononucleosis. Burkitt’s lymphoma is rare in the United States but common in Africa.
4. Follicular lymphoma
Follicular lymphoma is a type of cancer that normally affects white blood cells known as lymphocytes. The blood cells are responsible for fighting infections in the body. This type of lymphoma is categorized as non-Hodgkin’s because of the type of blood cells that it attacks. When a patient is suffering from this condition, the affected blood cells are able to travel to different parts of the body like bone marrow, organs, and lymph nodes. The affected blood cells can also form tumors in any part of the body that they reach. Although the condition can’t be cured, it can be managed and the patient can live long.
5. Mantle cell lymphoma
Mantle cell lymphoma (or MCL) is caused by a malignant transformation of a lymphocyte B within the outer section of a lymph node follicle. This causes the transformed lymphocyte B to develop in an uncontrolled manner. This leads to the accumulation of lymphoma cells that result in the enlargement of lymph nodes. More than 70,000 cases of MCL were reported in the United States in 2012 by the NHS. If a person has MCL, then some of their lymphocytes (known as B-cell lymphocytes) turn into cancer cells. They then begin to form tumors within their lymph nodes.