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One of the diseases classified as systemic meaning those diseases that affects the entire body structure is lymphoma. Lymphoma is a kind of cancer that attacks the lymphocytes causing them to grow abnormally and divide too quickly. The lymphocytes are defined by medical science as any of the nearly colorless cells found in the blood, lymph, and lymphoid tissues, constituting approximately 25 percent of white blood cells and including B cells, which function in humoral immunity, and T cells, which function in cellular immunity. By the nature and functions of the lymphocytes, which are found in mobile parts of the body, which is the blood, it is easy for lymphoma to reach the different parts of the body. Confining lymphoma in a single isolated spot of the body is often a big challenge to cancer management teams.

Often times, the first notable system that a person suffering from lymphoma is the swelling of lymph nodes in the neck area above the diaphragm. The swelling of the lymph nodes could lead to the diagnosis of either a Hodgkin's lymphoma named after Thomas Hodgkin the scientist who discovered the diseased in 1832 or a Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which is the collective term used for any other type of lymphoma that was letter discovered by other scientists. Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have different characteristics and behaves in different manner. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has about 30 types and also manifests different characteristics, thus the need to distinguish them from one another. All of these types of lymphoma are

Symptoms of lymphoma are usually connected with the swollen glands. As the abnormal lymphocytes no longer performs it natural functions of protecting the body as from infections, the person with lymphoma become more prone to infections of any kind. It must be noted that part of the functions of the lymphocytes in the human body involves assisting the body's immune system in fighting off infection and other forms of diseases. Where a person has lymphoma, his or her immune system is now impaired and he or she can no longer fight back infections efficiently. However, we should always remember that not all swelling of the lymph nodes are connected with lymphoma. There are many reasons why the lymph nodes get inflamed so you should never jump into conclusions once you noticed swelling on your lymph nodes. Common types of infection which are not really life threatening could cause swelling of the lymph nodes.

Lymphoma, like all types of cancer, is traitor disease. Always remember that the cancer attacks the lymphocytes, which are mobile and could easily migrate to other parts of the body. It is not uncommon for lymphoma to occur simultaneously or one after another in different parts of the human body. It is also not uncommon that where the patient experiences recurrence of the lymphoma, the cancer cells will no longer be found on the area where it was originally found. Therefore, it is imperative that thorough test should be conducted in order to ascertain as to whether or not there are still some malignant cancer cells lurking in some other parts of the body.

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