Lymphoma cancer occurs in infection fighting cells of immune system and a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. It is present in the bloodstream; lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow and can spread or metastasize to other parts of the body. Lymphocytes changes and grow out of control if you have lymphoma.
There are mainly two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin and Non Hodgkin (most common). The difference between Hodgkin and Non- Hodgkin lymphoma cells can be seen under a microscope. In many cases, a specific cell called the Reed-Stenberg cell is found when lymph node cells are examined during diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma. When this type of cells are not found in other lymphomas those are called Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Treatment for Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin can be different once diagnosed and each can affect a different kind of lymphocyte and grows at a different rate.
Symptoms of lymphoma can be similar to viral diseases and common cold but for a longer period of time. Some can experience a swelling of the lymph nodes which are located all over around the body like neck, groin, abdomen and armpit. Whereas symptoms of both type of lymphomas are fever without infection for longer time, night sweats, chills, weight loss, itching, tiredness, coughing, breathlessness and pain or swelling in the lymph nodes.
Blood tests and biopsies can detect the presence of lymphoma and can distinguish between them. Treatments can be suggested depending upon the stage of the cancer such as biologic therapy, chemotherapy, radioimmunotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation, surgery.