Non Hodgkin's Disease Essay

502 WordsFeb 8, 20143 Pages
Doctors aren't sure what causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but it is a cancer that originates in your lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma occurs when your body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. Normally, lymphocytes go through a predictable life cycle, where old lymphocytes die, and your body creates new ones to replace them. In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, your lymphocytes don't die, but continue to grow and divide. This surplus of lymphocytes packs into your lymph nodes and causes them to swell. This buildup of extra cells forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor. Symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may include swollen lymph nodes in your armpits or groin, abdominal pain or swelling, chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing, fatigue, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. In most cases, people diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma don't have any obvious risk factors, and many people who have risk factors for the disease never develop it. Some factors that may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include medications that suppress the immune system, infection with certain bacteria and viruses, certain chemicals, and even old age. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma begins in the B or T cells. B cells fight infection by producing antibodies that neutralize foreign invaders, while T cells are involved in killing foreign invaders directly. Most non-Hodgkin's lymphoma arises from B cells. Even though non-Hodgkin's lymphoma generally involves the presence of cancerous lymphocytes in your lymph nodes, the disease can also spread to other parts of your lymphatic system. These include the lymphatic vessels, tonsils, adenoids, spleen, thymus and bone marrow. Occasionally, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can involve organs outside of your lymphatic system. Treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma you have, the stage

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