?>Studies conducted by the American Cancer Society shows that there are more men suffering from lymphoma than women. In the last 50 years, a slow rise in cases of lymphoma has been observed in developed countries like Europe, North America and Australia. Most of those afflicted in these countries are men than women. The age distribution of those afflicted is bimodal with a greater peak on the 3rd decade and a lesser peak on the 7th decade. There is noted increase in the risk in the family members of lymphoma patient to have the disease sometime in life. An increase of around 10 times more is observed among siblings with same sex as that of the patient. Identical twins have a risk of around 100% due to the nearly exact genetic composition of the two.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphocytes of a person. The lymphocytes are that nearly colorless cells located in the lymphoid system, the lymph nodes and the white blood cells. Lymphocytes are closely related to the immune system of the body and its normal functions include fighting off infection that may invade the body. Lymphoma occurs when the lymphocytes behaves abnormally and reproduce too quickly. The abnormal activities of the lymphocytes cause the lymph nodes to swell.
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 behaves in different manner. Even
those collectively term Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma also manifest different characteristics, thus the need to distinguish them from one another. The difference in activities of the different types of lymphoma would warrant specific treatments so it is best to classify them correctly.
Common sign's and symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma is a swollen but non-painful lymph node located in the neck of the patient. Other patient develops swelling lymph nodes in the chest, which can be detected through X-rays. About 30% of the patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma suffers enlargement of the spleen. Most of these types of enlargement of the spleen are seldom massive. In some cases, an enlargement of the liver occurs as the liver filters the toxins in the human body. Enlargement of the liver is not common and occurs in just about 5% of the cases involving Hodgkin's lymphoma. For people who are suffering any or all of these symptoms who have not yet been diagnosed with lymphoma, it would be a very good idea to request your doctor to conduct further test. Further test such as biopsy are definitive when detecting as to whether or not the patient is suffering from lymphoma.
In case where the verdict of the test shows that your swollen lymph nodes are indeed symptoms of lymphoma, ask you doctor to refer you to a cancer specialist who can give you further advice on what form of treatment you should take. There are a number of treatments available for lymphoma. Depending on the type of lymphoma and the degree of the disease in your body, there is always a chance that the proper treatment could eradicate the cancer cells from your body.
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