What is lymphoma? It is actually a group of cancers that develops in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system which fight off viruses and bacteria.
It is a cancer that primarily affects your white blood cells (WBCs), which are also called lymphocytes.
It is one of the 4 cancer classifications that include carcinoma, sarcoma and leukemia.
There are 2 main types: Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkins lymphomas.
Both lymphomas grow particularly and usually in the B and T immune cells that are found in the lymph nodes. They can affect both children and adult.
If you're diagnosed with an inactive type, you will be able to live without needing treatment. But you still need to go for routine check-ups to make sure it stays inactive. This is important because what if it turns aggressive later.
1. Hodgkin or HL
Hodgkin disease is a less common cancer than Nonhodgkins. It has 2 sub types and affects 2 age groups in particular - ages between 15 to 40 and 50 to 70.
2. Nonhodgkins or NHL
Non-Hodgkin can develop at any age and is more common than Hodgkins. It is divided further into low, intermediate and high grades. It also has sub types - the B cell and T cell - depending on the progression of the cancer and the types of immune cells that are affected.
A rare Non Hodgkins form that affects your skin is known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
There are a few distinctions between the two forms.
The most important difference lies on the lymphatic tissues Hodgkins disease affects. HL grows in the tissues that have the B immune cells.
It is less common and not as deadly as Non Hodgkin.
Chemo and radiation are two of the standard treatment options for HL and NHL but the latter requires a more aggressive approach. The sooner you are treated if you have NHL, the better for you.
What about their signs? Basically, lymphoma symptoms are the same for both types.
It depends whether you are diagnosed with an aggressive or an indolent lymphoma.
Some types are indolent or inactive. Hodgkins is usually indolent. If you have the inactive type, you can live long without undergoing treatment.
However, many Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are high grade or aggressive. They can be fatal. Such types can cause rapid deterioration of your health and worse, death.
Burkitt type is one of the aggressive lymphomas. Prevention against the deadly types is extremely important.
Both Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkin types have the same signs and symptoms. What is the prognosis for both lymphomas? It depends on the stage the cancerous cells are discovered.
With correct diagnosis (that includes type, stage and grade) and appropriate treatment, stages 1 and 2 have an 80% survival rate for at least 10 years. What is lymphoma 's survival rate if the disease has spread? You get a 5 year survival rate of 60%.
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