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There are many types of cancer that affects people from all walks of life. Many people both in developed and developing countries are suffering from cancer of many types and degrees. For developing countries like Europe, North America and Australia, an increasing number of people are suffering from lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that attacks the lymphocytes that almost colorless cells found mostly in the white blood cells, the lymph nodes and the lymphoid tissues. Lymphocytes are important components of the body's immune system. Where the lymphocytes grow and divide abnormally, the lymphocytes could no longer perform its normal functions of fighting off infections. As this impairment of the lymphocytes occur, the person having lymphoma become more prone to infections. That is why in many cases, the first symptoms of lymphoma are closely related to some types of infections.

Most of those afflicted with this type of disease are those who are already in their sixties. The average ages of those who have this disease are at the age of 65. The first symptoms of people suffering from lymphoma are a swollen lymph node. The swelling of the lymph nodes are usually painless and does not bother the patient much. The gathering of the abnormal lymphocytes in the lymph nodes causing the irritation and the swelling causes the swelling. The neck area is usually the most prominent area of the body that manifest swelling but other parts of the body could also be affected however these areas do not show easily detectable manifestations. Swelling in the lymph nodes located in the chest area common in people with lymphoma however, the swelling could not be seen
outwardly. An X-ray usually reveals the swelling of the lymph nodes in the chest area.

Swelling of the lymph nodes is not only caused by lymphoma. There are many cases of lymph node swelling which are simple by products of typical infections and nothing serious. Where the body is suffering from some kind of infection, the lymphatic system which is responsible for the immune system response to fight infection reacts to the infect which sometimes result in swelling of the lymph nodes. Most of these types of infections that caused inflammation of the lymph nodes are not life threatening so you can breathe easy with that thought. However, where there is a reason to suspect that the swelling of the lymph nodes is not just a simple case of infection, especially you start losing weight drastically, you should ask your doctor to conduct further test. A biopsy would be a definitive test to check if your swollen lymph nodes are indeed a symptom of lymphoma.

Lymphoma affects more men than women. There is no clear explanation why men are more prone to lymphoma than women although there are certain scientist who ventured into explaining the phenomenon as lifestyle related. Accordingly, the eating habits and the general lifestyle of people in developed countries caused the increase of lymphoma cases for the last 50 years. Red meat and fatty products especially processed foods are suspected as some of the factors that increase the risk of people getting lymphoma in their later years. Lack of exercise is also suspected to be one of the factors that increase cancer risk. In fact, there are certain types of cancers that are directly associated with lack of exercise.

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