General Lymphoma Information
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the cells of the lymph system, which is part of the body’s immune system. The lymph system is comprised of:
- Lymph – Colorless, watery fluid that carries lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) through the lymph system.
- Lymph vessels – A network of thin tubes that collect lymph from different parts of the body and return it to the bloodstream.
- Lymph nodes – Small, bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body, particularly in clusters in the neck, underarm, abdomen, pelvis, and groin. These structures filter lymph and store white bloods cells that help fight infection and disease.
- Thymus – Located in the chest, this organ multiplies lymphocytes.
- Tonsils – Two small masses of lymph tissue at the back of the throat that make lymphocytes.
- Bone marrow – The soft tissue located in the center of bones which makes white and red blood cells, as well as platelets.
There are two main types of lymphoma, both of which can occur in children and adults. They are:
- Hodgkin lymphoma – Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma have the classic type, which occurs when there are large, abnormal lymphocytes in the lymph nodes called Reed-Sternberg cells.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) – This type of lymphoma actually refers to a group of cancers in the lymphatic system that can have different symptoms and treatments. NHL most often begins in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, or bone marrow.
Tampa General Hospital’s Hematology/Oncology Clinic provides comprehensive treatment options for patients with lymphoma and other kinds of blood cancers.