advertisement
Updated 20 May 2015

Lymphomas

Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymph system, part of the body's immune system.

0

Description

Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymph system, part of the body's immune system. The lymph system is made up of thin tubes that branch, like blood vessels, into all parts of the body.

Lymph vessels carry lymph, a colourless, watery fluid that contains white blood cells called lymphocytes. Along the network of vessels are groups of small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarm, pelvis, neck, and abdomen.

The lymph nodes make and store infection-fighting cells. The spleen (an organ in the upper abdomen that makes lymphocytes and filters old blood cells from the blood), the thymus (a small organ beneath the breastbone), and the tonsils (an organ in the throat) are also part of the lymph system. Because there is lymph tissue in many parts of the body, lymphomas can start in almost any part of the body. Some lymphomas may arise from the lymphoid tissue associated with the bowel or airways. Rarely lymphomas may arise primarily in tissue not within the lymphatic system, such as bone, liver or brain.

The cancer can spread to almost any organ or tissue in the body, including the liver, bone marrow (the spongy tissue inside the large bones of the body that makes blood cells), and spleen.

Lymphomas are divided into two general types: Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

See  individual articles  on Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

Previously reviewed by Dr Betsie Lombard, MBChB (Pret), Mmed (Haem Path) (Stell)

Reviewed by Dr David Eedes, Oncologist, March 2011

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Here's some help... »

Combat childhood obesity Childhood obesity brings future health problems

3 ways to get young couch potatoes away from the screen

Are your children glued to their electronic devices? It might be time to start making some rules.

Time for a break? »

Stressful job leads to emotional burnout Work burnout tied to emotional eating

This is why you must take annual leave

Avoid burnout and use your annual leave to get some well-deserved rest. Your body and mind will thank you.